Review of 10.9.96 in Rochester, NY
This is a review and recount of my universe during a Porno For Pyros show on 10.9.96 in Rochester, N.Y. at the Harrow East Ballroom. That day
was acctually the rescheduled date for the show which was supposed to happen in September, but Peter, I beleive, was having some Cancerous problem or
annother. So, with our fingers crossed, my best friend and I drove the hour and a half to Rochester once again to see Perry and crew for the first time in our lives.
My friend and I had both went through puberty and all of it's zits with the wonderous Jane's Addiction on our stereo's. For me, Perry's words were strength, they were entries from the diary of a man who had seen all of life's ups and downs and sideways always with the ability to find beauty and reason in instances most of us take for granted. To me, his voice
screamed, no, SHRIEKED for people to pay attention to the wonder and reality (and often-times non-reality) around them. With all of Perry's escapades that
continued to saturate the media and band shows, I realized that this was a man who had something to say. Perry always instilled the beleif in me; "It's better to regret something you've done, than something you didn't do".
So, with the first opportunity my precious friend and I have to see Perry and friends live on stage was there, and so were we. We arrived at the
venue 3 hours before the doors opened. We were the second group of people in line. It was October in upstate New York, so the weather was less than warm,
but we were to excited to care much. I'll spare the details of que-line conversations and waiting for the doors to open.
The Harrow East was a small room about half the size of your average high school auditorium, and there was a mini balcony that was perhaps
only 4 rows in size. It was all festival seating on the floor, so that was a releif.
Fun Lovin' Criminals were the opening band. They actually put on a great live show, with alot of energy...they were super fun to bounce to. The
singer/guitaur player was very accomplished and had a very Jimmy Page-esqe
style that didn't show in any of their singles at the time. (Kind of sad that
they peterd out after that year) So the time came for Porno to take the
stage, which was very sparsly decorated compared to a Jane's show. I was front
row with the metal security fence pressing painfully into my chest and several
hundred sweaty girls and boys pushing all their weight on my back. Perry's
microphone was directly across from where I stood and for all intents and
pourposes, a mirror image of my position in the crowd, no more than 3 feet out
of my arm's reach. I was giddy with anticipation. I could barely beleive that
Perry would finally share the same space in time both physical and emotional
and spiritual after all those years of listening to and assimilating all he
had to tell me.
The lights went soft and Peter, Steven and Mike Watt came out in
trpical Porno garb. Steven was naked and 'leid'... a gaudy orange floral-print
loin-cloth was all he wore, and to the crowds umm....?delight? or some such
adjective that eludes me...when he sat facing a certian direction, we became
aware that Steven doesn't appreciate the confines of underwear. We also became
aware that Steven probably has no problem finidng himself a lover...:giggle:
Peter wore a button down shirt and slacks and a lei. Mike Watt's wardrobe was
sort of a rehab jumpsuit done by Pablo Picasso during his Blue Period.
So, the three of them started jamming on "A little sadness" for a
few moments with no sign of Perry, who eventually stumbled out with bottle of
wine in one hand and what looked like a roach in the other. He took a few
puffs on it and threw it back to one of the stage hands and approached the
mike and toasted the crowd with his wine and wide toothy grin. He was
bedazzling in a skin-tight suit made entirely of Peakock feathers. He wore
elaborate slave-bracelets on both hands and his face was painted entirely with
glitter and rhinestones.
The mood of the song was relaxed and the crowd leaned and swayed
on each other untill they picked up the songs original tempo right where Perry
Sings "I hate him for all the things he does!....." I felt a warm euphoria
wash over me and I couldn't stop smiling as Perry danced Shamanistically and
the crowd followed his every move.
"Good Evening!" Perry shouted amid the crowds howls. "Allow us to introduce ourselves! We're Porno for PYROS!!!!!!" And they immediately went
into aforementioned song and the crowd went into a frenzy of bouncing and singing along with his every word.
Perry's between song rants were constant tonight...he talked
about how it is a man's duty to keep in shape as he ages for the beautiful
weomen....he mentioned how Rochester reminded him of Amsterdam with all of
it's canals and Dykes and Dams...
During Porpoise Head...one of the many highlights...the theatre
was all smoke drifiting through slowly sweeping blue and green lights that
shone on the bunches of flowers scattered on the stage monitors. Perry tip-toe
danced along the stage and tossed the flowers randomly into the crowd. A man
dressed in a Harley Davidson t-shirt and leather vest and scraggly beard
walked up to Perry (the bouncers allowed him to the stage) and lovingly placed
a necklace on Perry. Perry looked deep into his eyes, stroked the side of his
cheek and kissed him full on the mouth. What a sight to see Perry make out
with an over-weight Hell's Angel charachter....but Nothing's Shocking,
O.K....now for the ULTIMATE highlight of the evening. During
the extended bridge in 'Pets'....Perry was walking in the bouncers area
between the stage and audience, getting groped by the crowd and hugging them,
etc. He came up to me almost a full 6" shorter than myself and asked if I had
a joint. Never in my life had I wanted to have one on my person more than i
did then, but i was as clean as a whistle. He said it was ok, Kissed me on the
cheek, hugged me, reached behind himeself and handed me a few flowers from
ther stage!!!!!!! Words have never eluded me except in that instance.
After 'Pets', it was Mountian Song, which surprised me, I was
unaware that they were playing that song in their sets, but I was ecstatic,
for it was the closest I was ever going to get to seeing a Jane's song live.
(At that point, the relapse was not public knowledge). They played "I would for you" as the encore and the show was over.
I left that night changed. Being my first time seeing Perry live after years of listening to the music, it was like hearing it for the
first time all over again. I am in the process of trading for a bootleg of this show. It will be so wonderful to hear it again after almost 3 years have
Perry Farell is undoubtedly one of the most important figured in music today and tomorrow. He has brought to music and popular cuture
definitions of beauty, adventure and exploration that no one has before and
everyone will try to emulate hereafter. His performances are the beauty that
never was and always will be.
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