Satellite Party - September 29, 2007 - Club Underground, Reno, NV

Date: September 29, 2007
Location: Club Underground, Reno, NV
Recorded: No known recording
Status: Confirmed
Type: Concert

Show Information:

Review: Satellite Party gave all for small crowd
Posted: 9/30/2007

Perry Farrell and his new band Satellite Party played to a small, but boisterous crowd Saturday at Club Underground in a last-minute change of venue. In front of an audience, inexplicably of only about 200, the Jane’s Addiction and Lollapalooza founder plowed through a 65-minute best-of set that hit on all of the music Farrell has made in the last 20 years.

But he did it with conviction and all of the energy that he had when I saw him in 1991, at the height of Jane’s Addiction. Time has been kind to Farrell (the Dick Clark phenomenon in total effect here), and his voice showed little weathering over the years, still able to hit the high-pitched wails demanded of such Jane’s songs as “Stop” and “Mountain Song.”

Farrell made it clear that, as a live act, Satellite Party is a band that showcases the whole Farrell catalog. They opened with the new, thumping “Wish Upon a Dog Star,” and although the band’s debut album was released in May, only four of the 12-song set were Satellite Party songs, while six came from Jane’s Addiction and two from his 1990s band Porno for Pyros. It was proof that Farrell still is bucking conventional artistry. Whereas most bands with new albums will play heavily from them in concert, Farrell knows well that some of his best work is long behind him. And he wasn’t going to keep it locked up, despite the relative quality of his new songs.

Fans, who made the most noise I’ve heard come from 200 people, were glad to revel in the nostalgia. Camera flashes popped relentlessly and wild roars of applause came at the end of each song.

Farrell took many opportunities to slap hands with the fans in front. One of them asked, “Why are you in Reno?”

“Because I want to play for you guys,” Farrell said, who could easily have uttered complaints about the small audience. Instead, he remained the perfect showman, dancing and pulsating along with the music.

At times, his band didn’t seem as tight as Jane’s Addiction was in its heyday. Farrell’s comely wife Etty, who sings backup, was essentially inaudible and seemed there more for show than for sound. And it’s possible that the band is still finding its groove after adding a new guitarist and drummer in recent months. But the show was also proof that songs are all tied to the voice. Farrell can mix and match his band with whatever good players are available, but without his unique voice behind those old songs, they are nothing.