Jane's Addiction, Porno for Pyros Rock "Perrypalooza"

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Perry Farrell / Photo by Ronda Churchill
WRITTEN BY
Jason Bracelin

Nothing quite says "happy birthday" like a semi-tipsy dude dropping rhymes about banging your girlfriend.

Such was the case at Perry Farrell's 50th birthday party Saturday night in Las Vegas, where hornball rapper Mickey Avalon kicked off the festivities with a phalanx of go-go girls in glittery lingerie and naughty sex raps that sounded as if they were plucked from some teenage boy's over-active imagination after too much late-night Cinemax.

In front of around 400 fans and celebrities at the Mirage's Bare Pool topless lounge, Farrell was at the center of a star-studded show highlighted by his first performance with Porno for Pyros in 12 years and a climactic mini-set from Jane's Addiction, that marked the first time the two bands had ever shared the same stage.

With celebrated artist Shepard Fairey -- the man behind the Obama "Hope" design -- spinning Talking Heads, Grace Jones, and the Hives tunes before the show, the likes of actress Rosanna Arquette, celebrity chef Kerry Simon, and Motocross star Carey Hart filled the venue.

After Avalon primed all the libidos in the house and Farrell and his wife Etty Lau Farrell dueted on the beat-heavy "Go All The Way (Into the Twilight)" from the Twilight soundtrack, Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath teamed up with Velvet Revolver drummer Matt Sorum and guitarist Billy Morrison from the Cult for a snarling, surprisingly credible take on the Sex Pistols' "EMI."

"What is that douche Mark McGrath doing on stage?" McGrath quipped rhetorically, posing the question of the night. "I know, man, I'm goin' through the same thing."

Clad in a tight red dress and matching leggings and opera gloves, a hair flinging Juliette Lewis belted out AC/DC's "Dirty Deeds Done Cheap," moving her hips like sex incarnate.

Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello teamed up with Cypress Hill rapper Sen Dog and percussionist Bobo for a pair of tunes, including a tight-as-a-clenched-fist take on "Ain't Goin' Out Like That," which drifted into Public Enemy's "Bring the Noise."

Velvet Revolver guitarist Slash was a no show, but surprise guest Debbie Harry made up for his absence with the hard funk of Blondie's "Rapture," complete with a wah-wah laced guitar freakout from Morello and an arms-in-the-air "Call Me."

Later, Billy Idol jammed with MC5's Wayne Kramer and led a crowded stage of musicians in a raucous "Twist and Shout."

But really, it all felt like foreplay for the two most anticipated sets of the night, beginning with a too-brief, two-song suite from Porno for Pyros.

With drummer Stephen Perkins anchoring the band's swirling, psychedelic alt-rock sound in granite-hard rhythms, the group laid into a forceful "Meija" before finishing with the moody "Tahitian Moon." Farrell sang with the mad gusto of a carnival barker trying to turns heads on a busy highway.

Shortly thereafter, Farrell and Perkins reteamed on stage with Jane's Addiction, joined by a shirtless Dave Navarro and towering bassist Eric Avery.

Navarro took the reins on a set-opening "Ted, Just Admit It" with some wild-eyed fretboard acrobatics, before hunkering down with the buffet of riffs that was "Whores."

After tearing through "Stop," Jane's finished with a cover of the Rolling Stones' "Sympathy for the Devil," which became a group sing-along with so many people onstage it looked like it could have collapsed.

And then it was time for cake, as if any more treats were necessary.

Setlist:

Mickey Avalon
"Mr. Right"
"Jane Fonda"

Perry Farrell w/Etty Lau Farrell
"Go All The Way (Into the Twilight)"

Mark McGrath
"EMI"

Juliette Lewis
"Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap"

Donovan Leitch and Carmit Bachar
"Suffragette City"

Sen Dog and Tom Morello
"Rock Star"
"Ain't Goin' Out Like That/Bring the Noise"

Debbie Harry
"Rapture"
"Call Me"

Porno for Pyros
"Meija"
"Tahitian Moon"

Billy Idol
"Rebel Yell"
"Eyes Without a Face"
"Twist And Shout"

Jane's Addiction
"Ted, Just Admit It"
"Whores"
"Stop"
"Sympathy for the Devil"

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