Porno For Pyros - June 19, 1993 - Roseland Ballroom, New York City, NY

Date: June 19, 1993
Location: Roseland Ballroom, New York City, NY
Recorded: Audio
Status: Confirmed
Type: Concert
Lineup: Perry Farrell
Stephen Perkins
Martyn Lenoble
Peter DiStefano
Artwork:

Setlist:

Orgasm
Sadness
Porno For Pyros
Bad Shit
Tonight
Cursed Female
Cursed Male
Pets
Dominator
Blood Rag
Packin' .25
Black Girlfriend
Meija

Show Information:

The Flaming Lips opened.

Newsday (Melville, NY)
June 22, 1993
Edition: ALL EDITIONS
Section: PART II
Page: 51

Porno for Pyros: A Bizarre Rock Circus
Author: Tony Fletcher. Tony Fletcher is a free-lance writer.

PORNO FOR PYROS. Unique exponents of modern rock. Saturday night at Roseland, 239 W. 52nd St., Manhattan. (Also Sunday.) With Flaming Lips.

THEATRICS IN rock music have carried an unpleasant stigma since the mid-1970s, when rock operas were all the rage and Peter Gabriel fronted Genesis dressed as a sunflower. Although stadium shows often use props to make up for their lack of intimacy, bands playing theaters and clubs tend to let the music speak for itself.

Perry Farrell, however, does not play by the rules. His previous band, Jane's Addiction, blurred the distinction between hardand alternative rock. With his new act, Porno for Pyros, currently on its first national tour, Farrell turns the stage into a circus of the bizarre.

The Saturday night show at Roseland featured a pirouetting ballet dancer (during the song "Orgasm"), a topless fire-breathing female ("Porno for Pyros"), a simulated lesbian act ("Cursed Female") and a masturbating hermaphrodite on stilts ("Cursed Male") - all in the first 20 minutes. With flames and sexuality, Porno for Pyros is obviously intent on living up to its name.

Such an embodiment of teenage male fantasies might be written off as puerile exploitation if not for the incredible force and passion with which the night's music was delivered. Guitarist Peter DiStefano, bassist Martyn Le Noble and former Jane's Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins conspired to play with the energy of a group twice as large, virtually faultless despite the continual changes of rhythm and dynamics.

But the night belonged to Farrell. With his bright orange hair and perfect physique, he cuts a larger-than-life figure; his permanently high-pitched wail only distinguishes him further. When he stood at the front of the stage during "Pets," the group's least aggressive (and probably best) song, he loomed tall over the crowd, playing up his godlike status. "Don't you wish you were me?" he taunted at one point.

Most in the audience will never be Perry Farrell; knowing it, they were content to dance all the way to the back of the hall. As a result, many never got to study the self-mutilation of a male clown during "Blood Red" or the graceful female gymnastics during "Black Girlfriend." Fewer still got their hands on the greenbacks thrown into the front rows during the final encore of "Meija," as Farrell wailed, "Everybody count your money!" It was a perfectly perverse finale to a spectacular, if short, show.

Opening act the Flaming Lips spent almost as long playing their final number as it took Porno for Pyros to do its entire show. Like the headliners, the Lips have a fondness for '70s hard rock; unlike Farrell, they show no willingness to update it. Rolling classic American punk bands like the Stooges, MC5 and Dictators - as well as assorted trippy psychedelic bands - into one head-banging guitar fest, they sang meaningless but enjoyable anthems about subjects like Vaseline and tested the limits of the one-chord riff. Their show could have come straight from a time capsule.

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