Porno For Pyros - August 20, 1993 - I.C. Light Amphitheatre, Pittsburgh, PA

Date: August 20, 1993
Location: I.C. Light Amphitheatre, Pittsburgh, PA
Recorded: No known recording
Status: Confirmed
Type: Concert
Lineup: Perry Farrell
Stephen Perkins
Martyn Lenoble
Peter DiStefano
Artwork: Ticket

Set List:

Orgasm
Sadness
Meija
Bad Shit
Tonight
Cursed Female
Cursed Male
Pets
Dominator
Blood Rag
Packin' .25

Show Information:

Mercury Rev opened.

Thanks go out to Damon Solomon for the ticket scan.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (PA)
August 21, 1993
Edition: SOONER
Section: ENTERTAINMENT
Page: C-6

PYROS BURN WITH NOISE, BEAUTY, OTHERNESS
Author: SCOTT MERVIS, WEEKEND EDITOR, POST-GAZETTE

It's a long way from the glamorous headline spot on Lollapalooza I to the small parking lot that is the I.C. Light Amphitheatre and a crowd of 2,323. But that's what Perry Farrell traded in when he made a pretty corpse of his near-superstar band Jane's Addiction.

Then again, Farrell seems more like a sideshow performer than a pop star who wants to spend the next 20 years touring hockey arenas. His first stop in Pittsburgh last night with his new band, Porno for Pyros, had all the trappings of, as one of the dancers put it, "an erotic circus."

The band borrowed its name from an ad for firecrackers, and lived up to it with more bang for the buck than the average rock outing. The freak show theme is hardly original, but Farrell, like a hyperkinetic Tom Waits, is the entertainer to pull it off.

"I got the devil in me!" he screamed on the second song, "Sadness." With dyed blond hair, sideburns and goatee framing his pointy face, Farrell looked like he just came up from "down under" for the show -- and I don't mean Australia.

Joining him on stage at various times were an odd assortment of characters: a dancing girl resembling a ballerina on a music box, an 8-foot transvestite, mimes throwing fake money and a clown who enacted a razor suicide on "Bloody Rag."

Farrell, the founder of the alternative circus Lollapalooza, has been accused of tokenism when it comes to choosing female bands. Having two dancing women strip down to virtually nothing and simulate oral sex will only add fuel to the fire.

Speaking of fire, the Pyros were a bit lost in all this visual perversion. While lacking the explosiveness of Jane's Addiction, they had a certain moody majesty, sparked by former Jane's drummer Stephen Perkins.

He created sparse, offbeat rhythms for the Zeppelin-inspired guitar riffs of Peter DiStefano and bassist Martyn Le Noble. Determined to give this band its own identity, Farrell left all the Jane's material in the vault. At one point the very talkative front man almost apologized for the Pyros, saying ''We may not be the greatest ... but we got the heart of it."

As some suggest, Farrell qualifies as the one of the most insufferable figures in the alternative music scene, but he brings a sense of humor -- and even the occasional hint of sincerity -- to the party.

Buffalo band Mercury Rev, in the opening slot, revealed what all the buzz is about. They created a wall of dreamy noise and feedback, a la Sonic Youth, over which Suzanne Thorpe played a Celtic-tinged flute.

The young crowd's first notion was to mosh in the gravel, but then settled back and let it wash over them. How to describe singer David Baker? He looked like Joe Cocker trying to inhabit the body of the Cure's Robert Smith. And, yeah, a little like Jim Morrison in his last days.

It was impossible to know what Baker was wailing about, but he sure knew. It was as if he was playing different parts in his own mini-opera from the other side of the tracks -- with the 'Burgh's skyline as a dazzling set.

In the end, both bands achieved the alternative ideal: noise, beauty and total otherness.