Event Reviews

Perry Farrell

with Huda Hudia and Larry Banks

Icon, Orlando, FL• August 3, 2000

It’s fitting that Perry Farrell put on a show at Icon, because he is certainly an icon himself. The man has quite an extensive resume, which includes such accomplishments as being the driving force behind Jane’s Addiction and Porno For Pyros, as well as the founder of the Lollapalooza music festival. I often wonder what Farrell, the “father of alternative music,” had been doing since the inevitable demise of Lollapalooza and a half-hearted attempt at a Jane’s reunion.

Not long ago I read some reports that Farrell had discovered some of his own spirituality and that he had been dabbling in electronic music with an emphasis on styles from the Far East. Needless to say, I was very excited to hear that he would be headlining a DJ gig at the Icon, here in Orlando. Not knowing what to expect, I purchased my ticket early and showed up about 30 minutes before the doors opened. Joining me on the sidewalk outside the building were just a handful of people in their late teens to early twenties. I wasn’t sure if the crowd would be there to see the old Perry Farrell or this new one who had taken a liking to turntables. I, myself, wasn’t sure what to expect other than a good show, because Farrell is the ultimate showman, if nothing else.

Since the other DJs didn’t announce who they were, I’ll assume they went in reverse order on the billing. As the first members of the growing crowd entered the establishment, we were greeted by Larry Banks, who was already hard at work spinning records up on the stage. Banks did a solid job but failed to energize the crowd, save for the few hard-core fans taking full advantage of the empty dance floor.

Next up was Huda Hudia, who looked pretty unassuming in his shorts and Hawaiian shirt. Clearly, appearance isn’t everything, because Hudia quickly fired the crowd up with furious beats and a repeating sample of “God could see the people dancing.” At this point, the building was packed, and two professional (scantily-clad) female dancers climbed up on platforms on either side of the crowd to enhance the mood. At one point during Hudia’s set, the girls climbed up steel cables all the way to the ceiling and hung from their feet. That was way too cool, because any attractive girl not afraid to risk life and limb for her art is all right by me.

Hudia spun for at least an hour, and then, without warning, a sequin-jacketed Farrell appeared on stage to continue the non-stop mix where his lesser-known, younger contemporaries had left off. The crowd could barely be heard cheering over the music. I immediately noticed the excitement in Farrell’s eyes when he began his set. The previous two DJs appeared fairly reserved, as though they had done this many times, but Farrell was just plain excited the whole time. Every time he tweaked a knob or brought up a background beat that made the crowd jump and shout, he smiled from ear to ear. In addition, while most DJs stand still and work their magic, Farrell was wiggling around on stage about as much as his headphone leash would allow. Overall, he had a couple snags in his set, but did a good job at plowing ahead so nobody really noticed, and he continued to spin for almost two hours. It was fun to see Farrell on stage, trying out this new muse of his, to rave reviews from his fans.

At the end of his set, the Icon announcer thanked Farrell as he quickly left the stage, not saying a word to the crowd. He didn’t have to say anything, though, because based on his facial expressions, he knew he had earned the crowd’s ultimate approval. ◼

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