He came and he conquered. Easily.
Porno for Pyros singer Perry Farrell, the mastermind of the Lollapalooza music festivals, somehow has stumbled into the legendary category of alternative musicians. On Monday in the Ogden Street Concert Hall, the former heroin addict and indulger of gender bending showed the capacity crowd why.
"Let me tell you about my determination," he said while introducing a song. "I don't fit on this planet anyway."
Strange, mystical beings are always fascinating to watch; Farrell's eccentricity became the night's main focal point.
Band members entered first to play the creeping introduction of "Orgasm." As guitarist Peter Di-Stefano slowly sounded his strings with a bow, Farrell appeared carrying a bottle of wine and wearing a lei. Coordinated with his colorful genie-type slacks was a red, tied-in-the-front midriff shirt, its sleeves flared wide enough to make Ozzy Osbourne sentimental and Prince envious. With arms bent up, Farrell seductively heaved his bare stomach, his thin frame and long neck giving him an obscenely glamorous look.
Balancing Farrell's feminity was the band's newest addition, bassist Mike Watt. Grizzle-faced and brawny, Watt played his instrument with force, snickering often at his band mates and the crowd. At times, his deep-toned backing vocals conflicted with the soft vocal style of Farrell, but all in all, the former member of the Minutemen and the group named firehose, effortlessly handled Porno for Pyros' irrationally written material, in which song tempos change as quickly as Farrell's unbounded imagination.
In his warmly crude way, Farrell dedicated "Cursed Female" to his mother: "My mind is on my mother, she's such a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful mother . . . yet I feel so bad because I feel she's been cursed."
True to his environmental nature, he stepped away from his microphone mid-way through "Thick of It All" to allow a spokeswoman from an underground Canadian television station to protest toxic waste dumping in Ontario. The band melodramatically backed her, hinting that this seemingly improvised break actually has been done before at other Porno for Pyros shows.
Following the current hit "Tahitian Moon," Farrell gracefully tossed flower bouquets into the crowd. A Martian character took center stage during "Pets" before Farrell paid homage to his past with the head-banging Jane's Addiction tune "Mountain Soul."
Fun Lovin' Criminals from New York City opened the show. Although the band's songs started off with spark, all were soon dragged into a dreary pit by singer-guitarist Huey's monotone vocals.
"You know, we're all just trying to get through this thing called life," he told the crowd. It showed.
Porno for Pyros
Alternative rock band led by Perry Farrell, originator of the Lollapalooza music festivals and formerly of Jane's Addiction.
With Peter DiStefano, guitar; Mike Watt, bass; Stephen Perkins, drums; and Tom Johnson, keyboards and samples.
Monday night in the Ogden Street Concert Hall.