Jane’s Addiction was the “surprise band” at the 2003 WBCN River Rave. I was there, and they absolutely ruled.
Even though I was working at WBCN at the time–as midday host–I had to look up the full lineup. Granted, I probably have it all on a t-shirt somewhere, but I don’t feel like going down into my cellar. Thankfully, the Sun Chronicle did a preview piece on the show 20 years ago: “The full lineup includes the Dropkick Murphys (who will close the show on the main stage), Evanescence, Blur AFI, Seether, Good Charlotte, The Used, Finch, Interpol, Hed(pe), Hot Hot Heat, and The Ataris.” That was alongside Beck and Jack Johnson.
But it wasn’t.
I feel like I remember Blur bagging out, then making up for it as the “surprise band” in 2004. But again, this is a preview piece, so they would’ve had them listed as performers. I definitely remember a mix-up between AFI and The Donnas that caused both bands to show up for their interview at the same time. So naturally, I had both bands sit down together and made them interview each other. They even interviewed me! I shared the story again recently with Jeff Gorra, who was nice enough to put this together for me.
Throwback Thursday: 2003 WBCN River Rave with Jane’s Addiction
Jane’s was the crown jewel of the event. BCN would always tease a “surprise band” for the River Rave, and it was always a big name. Strays had just released, with the killer lead single “Just Because.” Perry and the band were in top form, playing like they’d never even broken up. It was a short, six-song set and, sadly, the setlist isn’t online. There’s no footage, either. But I did find a live clip from the band from that year to give you an idea of what it was like. The River Rave. What an era in Boston.