Perry Farrell's Kind Heaven gets up close and personal
City Winery Boston, Boston, June 11, 2019
Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz
Chances are pretty good Perry Farrell has not been used to playing 200-seat venues for a long, long time. That's what happens when you've had success on varying fronts, most notably with Jane's Addiction.
Perry Farrell's Kind Heaven Orchestra made the most of the evening, part of a short tour mainly hitting City Winery venues in the U.S. befoe playing in Europe. Playing and invigorating many songs from his brand new (released only four days before) CD, "Kind Heaven," Farrell not only displayed his considerable talents, but he also brought down the wall that typically separates an artist from his audience. Farrell pranced and crouched at varying points, showing he didn't need a big theatre to pull off the show.
At 60, Farrell's vocal delivery has varied little over time, fitting songs old and new. Many songs, such as the opener "(red, white, and blue) Cheerfulness," were right in Farrell's comfort zone. Less so was the dreamy pop of "Let's All Pray for This World," but, hey, that worked too.
Farrell paid homage to Jane's Addiction with an adequate take on "Jane Says," a good set closer with "Ocean Size" and more vigorously "Mountain Song" to close out the night to much applause. He also did justice to Porno for Pyros' "Tahitian Moon" and "Pets."
Farrell has an onstage foil in the person of Etty Farrell, one of three back-up singers, who also happens to be his wife. That was key because the two locked hands and more on each other during varying songs with Etty oozing sexuality. She also took lead vocals on a few songs, trading lines with her husband. Poppy sounding, she worked well with Farrell.
Farrell certainly seemed to enjoy the opportunity to play a smaller venue, engaging with the crowd a number of times, including singing a round of "Happy Birthday" to a fan near the front, giving his autograph to another with a seemingly easy going, slightly at times, goofy style.
One suspects that this was a chance to take the album on the road and get it out there live. Farrell did that with style and more on a night where he was up close and personal.