Renaissance man Perry Farrell — the brains behind Lollapalooza, Jane’s Addiction and Porno for Pyros — is debuting his new project in DTLA.
“Heaven After Dark” kicks off Thursday, Feb. 17, at the 1926 Room at the Belasco Theatre, 1050 S. Hill Street, in DTLA.
Cultivated in partnership with his wife, Etty Lau Farrell, “Heaven After Dark” focuses on iconic and emerging musicians, performance artists and varietal acts to showcase alternative music and underground culture.
“Heaven After Dark” attendees will experience “seven realms of heaven”; “an audio sensory journey that introduces attendees to musicians, dancers, comedians and street performers to narrate and shape the evening’s story”; the Farrells performing as Kind Heaven Orchestra; and DJs and producers playing acid house music.
“The first one takes place in a very small theater,” Farrell said during a Zoom call with Etty. “I kind of dig that idea. It’s going to be like the Roaring ’20s.
“We found it here in Downtown LA. We want to start germinating the seeds in LA with emerging artists. They are very reminiscent of the groups I played with when I was coming up in LA in the early ’80s. I’m trying to recreate that vibe. But, of course, you can never go back.”
The event will be held monthly, if things go as planned. Farrell said “Heaven After Dark” will serve as a distraction to those suffering from pandemic depression or tired of sitting at home thanks to COVID-19.
“We’re parents,” Farrell said. “So, we hear from other parents that there’s so much depression in kids. They just don’t know what to do. You can’t blame them.
“Imagine if we would have been stuck in a house for two years as a teenager? And graduations aren’t being held? We’re watching the statistics and the numbers really indicate to us — specifically in LA — that they’re plummeting. But we still want people to be safe.”
The event will require vaccinations, and “I’m going to politely ask everybody to just bring cool things to hold up to their face when they’re close to people,” Farrell said. “I’m going to do it. I think that will help take us out of this dark age of COVID-19.”
“Heaven After Dark” is a departure from Lollapalooza, which plays to approximately 385,000 in Chicago each year.
“During large events, you get to see something that you didn’t expect,” Farrell said. “To me, it was like, OK, where are we going to get the emerging music from if the music industry isn’t really nurturing it?
“To me, it was essential that we went back to the original place where we started our music and start to garden it, curate it so that they could grow and one day be on the Lollapalooza stages.”
Etty added, “I think it’s nice that when you do big shows, when you’re in a big festival, you do get the production and all the bells and whistles. At the same time, you lose that personal contact with your audience. So you get to sing and perform and look into people’s eyes and then open a dialogue with the audience.”
After “Heaven After Dark,” Etty will release the single “He’s No Rebel,” which was chosen by Farrell.
“Perry chose the song for me to sing because he thought it suited me because he’s a rebel,” she said as the couple laughed. “We changed the lyrics, so I’m really singing about him.”
Farrell added, “I sing about her all the time.”
Etty isn’t the only one making new music. Farrell “constantly” makes music with his family in their home.
“Me, personally, I’m working on music for an orchestra,” he said. “I’m working on music for Porno for Pyros, working on music for Jane’s and then house music — making great house music as well.”
Etty is quick to add, “I think it’s worth mentioning that Jane’s Addiction is coming back for what would have been their 30th anniversary. However, because of COVID-19, we pushed it a year. They’re going to start with Lollapalooza in South America.”
Farrell said he’s excited about the reunion.
“We’ve had our bouts,” Farrell said with a laugh. “But right now, we’re closer than ever.”
Etty added, “I think it’s because you’re older.”
“I didn’t want to say that,” Farrell added, laughing. “As you get older, you let go of all of the petty stuff that you thought was important.”
“Heaven After Dark”
WHEN: 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 17
WHERE: The Belasco, 1050 S. Hill Street, DTLA
COST: Tickets start at $45