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Porno for Pyros’ Original Lineup Performs First Show in More than 25 Years: Recap, Photos + Video

Perry Farrell, Peter DiStefano, Stephen Perkins and Martyn LeNoble rocked The Belasco in Los Angeles

Porno for Pyros perform in LA
Porno for Pyros perform in LA, photo by Debi Del Grande
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    Porno for Pyros reunited for a show at the Welcome to Rockville festival in Florida earlier this year, but two of the band’s founding members were missing from that performance. On Thursday night (July 7th), the band’s original lineup rocked The Belasco in Los Angeles for their first full concert together in more than a quarter century.

    The aforementioned previous reunion came about when Jane’s Addiction had to drop off Welcome to Rockville due to guitarist Dave Navarro’s bout with long COVID. Instead of bowing out altogether, Perry Farrell, who fronts both bands, decided to reunite Porno for Pyros to fill the missing slot. At that show, Farrell was joined by original guitarist Peter DiStefano and latter-day Porno for Pyros bassist Mike Watt. Drummer Stephen Perkins, who plays in both Jane’s Addiction and Porno for Pyros, had to skip the show at the last minute due to an illness, and was replaced by his drum tech.

    On Thursday night, the original lineup of Farrell, DiStefano, Perkins, and bassist Martyn LeNoble headlined the “Heaven After Dark” concert series curated by Perry and his wife Etty Lau Farrell. The group played a 12-song set that featured seven tunes from their self-titled 1993 debut, four tracks from their 1996 sophomore and, thus far, final album, Good God’s Urge, and a cover of the Jane’s Addiction rarity “1%.”

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    Farrell slithered and sashayed his way about the stage in a way only he can — a signature slinkiness that made seeing him sing songs like the band’s eponymous track “Porno for Pyros,” which opened their set, along with tunes like “Pets” and “Bad Shit,” all the more enjoyable to see. After being left off the Welcome to Rockville set, “Wishing Well” and “Cursed Male” were welcome additions to the show. Not to mention the fact that Porno for Pyros brought ex-Guns N’ Roses guitarist Gilby Clarke out to aid in the aforementioned rendition of Jane’s Addiction’s “1%.”

    With Farrell grinning ear to ear, “Tahitian Moon” ended the night on such a good note.

    But it took us a while to get there…

    Prior to Porno for Pyros’ set, confused faces throughout the audience were illuminated by club-esque lights reflecting off many a sequin. While many in the audience likely thought they’d be getting Porno for Pyros following a couple of opening acts, they were instead presented with Perry Farrell’s Kind Heaven Orchestra, his solo band featuring his wife Etty Lau Farrell and other musicians. Backed by a screen playing 90s euro-dance type visuals of the couple dancing and singing, the stage was full of various dancers and backup singers glittering about.

    Their bluesy-gospel-dance rock was an unexpected (and perhaps bewildering) inclusion on the bill for many in the crowd, considering that Farrell was set to take the stage again, and that support act Starcrawler had already helped set the stage for the headliner. Starcrawler, aka vocalist Arrow de Wilde, is known for her entertainingly incensed take on punk meets glam rock antics in her stage presence. She thrashed and spat about, hyping up the crowd with a throwback to just straight up rock and roll.

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    Eclectic would be a good way to describe the vibe of the night, since it started out with the Osees energy of Frankie & the Witch Fingers. They smashed through their condensed set with garage force, though they made each of their seven songs count. Head bangs and spun guitars made their presence throughout “Work”, “Dracula Drug” and “Electricide” but when lead guitarist Josh Menashe and vocalist/rhythm high-holding guitarist Dylan Sizemore shredded back to back during “Tea”, they fully cemented their prowess in keeping modern garage rock going strong.

    Porno for Pyros will hit Chicago later this month to play Lollapalooza on July 31st in Grant Park as well as a club gig on July 30th at the Metro as part of the festival’s “Lollapalooza After Dark” series. Tickets to the main Lollapalooza fest are available here, while tickets to the club gig can be purchased here.

    Photo Gallery – Porno for Pyros and opening acts at The Belasco in Los Angeles (click to enlarge and scroll through):

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    All photos by Debi Del Grande.

    Setlist:
    Porno for Pyros
    Sadness
    Meija
    Cursed Female
    Cursed Male
    Wishing Well
    Pets
    Porpoise Head
    1% (Jane’s Addiction cover with Gilby Clarke)
    Bad Shit
    Good God’s://Urge!
    Tahitian Moon

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