Porno For Pyros - October 17, 1996 - Agora Theatre, Cleveland, OH

Date: October 17, 1996
Location: Agora Theatre, Cleveland, OH
Recorded: Audio
Status: Confirmed
Type: Concert
Lineup: Perry Farrell
Stephen Perkins
Peter DiStefano
Mike Watt
Artwork: Ad
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Set List:

Orgasm
Porno For Pyros
Good God's Urge
Meija
Cursed Female
Thick Of It All
Dogs Rule The Night
Black Girlfriend
Tahitian Moon
Bad Shit
Porpoise Head
Pets
Mountain Song
100 Ways
I Would For You

Show Information:

Plain Dealer, The (Cleveland, OH)
October 19, 1996
Porno for Pyros

A LITTLE OFF KILTER WORDS AND VISION ARE UNCLEAR - BUT FASCINATING
Author: MICHAEL NORMAN PLAIN DEALER MUSIC CRITIC

Watching Perry Farrell perform with his band Porno for Pyros at the Agora Theater on Thursday was something like having a fevered dream. The words and the visions didn't always make sense, but there was something about the entire experience that made you sad when the lights came up and the spell was broken.

Farrell is without a doubt one of the strangest figures in American popular music - part rock star, part New Age shaman, part circus ringmaster and freak-show hustler.

He is best known to the general public as the founder of the Lollapalooza - the summer music festival that has become an annual concert ritual for suburban youth. But alternative-rock fans also know him as the wacked-out leader of the influential 1980s Los Angeles rock band Jane's Addiction.

During the course of Porno for Pyro's 75-minute set Thursday, Farrell implored the spirits inhabiting the Agora to join him in song, suggested that "star people" were hiding out in the audience and urged the crowd to get in touch with their "long bodies." (What Farrell meant by "long bodies" wasn't exactly clear, although it appeared to have something to do with "remembering that the most powerful, beautiful muscle" in the human body is the brain.)

The surrealistic banter provided the segues to equally surrealistic songs with titles like "Orgasm," "Porpoise Head," "Pets" "Porno for Pyros" "Good God's:/Urge!" "Cursed Female," "Dogs Rule the Night" and "Tahitian Moon."

The songs are vehicles for Farrell's off-kilter musings on everything from earth's future as petting zoo for extra-terrestrial invaders to the orgasm-inducing delights of fiery, televised riots.

But somehow, Farrell and his bandmates pulled together all the strands, making the show seem completely logical - and extremely entertaining.

The 15-song set was fast-paced and engaging - a smooth West Coast blend of trippy rock, funky metal and spacey ballads, drawn mostly from the albums "Porno for Pyros" and "Good God's Urge."

Farrell's real talent is as a concert showman. He commands a stage the way Iggy Pop, Mick Jagger and Robert Plant did in their prime - moving with the authority of a panther on the prowl.

He can be swaggering or sensual, scary or fragile, demented or introspective. He has a high, spooky voice that makes him sound like a heavy-metal poltergeist. But his personal charisma goes beyond his singing or music.

A personality like that can overpower a band. But Porno for Pyros guitarist Peter Di Stefano, drummer Stephen Perkins and bassist Mike Watt (formerly of the Minutemen) are the perfect compliment - giving Farrell the space to do his thing, while filling up the room with a rocking, irresistible noise.

Sweet, weird dreams are made of this.

Fun Lovin' Criminals, a talented New York trio, opened the show with a superb 45-minute set of tunes from its new "Come Find Yourself" album.