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 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, apparantly. 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 gone by.
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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