For some strange marketing reason, the Apple store in Cherry Creek Mall hosted acoustic performances by Perry Ferrell Satellite Party (of Jane’s Addiction and Porno for Pyros fame) and opening act Mink in the early evening before their Tuesday night Ogden show and only publicized it enough to bring in about 35 people, half of whom were members of the media. It was bizarre.
I’ve always been slightly annoyed with how proactive Apple is in trying to be the cool/hip brand of the computer world. In those ads with the pretentiously laid back young guy and the older nerdy dude, my heart always goes out to the PC. So I wasn’t surprised that Apple pulled a stunt like bringing in a band in to play a quick set when they are touring through. I have no idea why they did not get the word out there better, however, and give these guys a decent audience.Both bands played 3-4 songs that were stripped down and acoustic-y. Mink played first and struck me as a group that focused more on how to be New York City cool instead of just writing awesome songs -- and yes that is a video of themselves playing behind them on the TV screen. Lead singer Neal Carson had a stage presence that mixed Julian Casablanca and Mick Jagger, but did not pull either off convincingly. A little research taught me that Carson was knocked off CBS’s Rock Star INXS in the early rounds and then got this band together. In all fairness, I think they like to turn up to 11 and the Apple store would only dole out amperage for about 3, rock wise. They weren't terrible; just the same middle-of-the-road indie-crap that I seem to hear everyday.
After Mink was done, the MC/Apple store employee came and told us that Perry Ferrell and his new band would be out shortly. The guy was so obviously nervous and excited to be hosting the event that he could not get a word out without stuttering through his huge smile. It was pretty adorable. Perry Ferrell came out soon afterwards and it was fucking awesome.
They only played three songs: The single from his new band Satellite Party, a Porno for Pyros tune and "Been Caught Stealing" by Jane’s Addiction. Ferrell came across as a guy who loves being involved in music, whether it’s playing a festival or an Apple store for 35 star-struck people. His band mates were competent and had the seemingly required cute Asian girl in the mix. It was impressive how they didn’t seem to look down on the weird gig and played through the songs like they were having the time of their life. Even Mink were huddled in the corner, smiling and singing along in somewhat disbelief. After they were done, Ferrell stayed for a good amount of time signing autographs, shaking hands and giving people a “you won’t believe who I met” story to tell. -- Gene Davis
Critic's Notebook Personal Bias: I have not listened to Perry Ferrell in years and thought of the event as a desperate promotional move by Apple. Random Detail: "Been Caught Stealing" was an ironic song to hear live when surrounded by Apple store goods that would be easy to steal during all of the commotion. By the Way: All cynicism aside, kudos to Apple for putting on this event and hosting a free, interesting evening with one of the pioneers of alternative rock music.