At the beginning of Nihilitia’s set, this couple started to french really, really, hard and kept sucking face all throughout Pessimist Parade. Needless to say, when Peelander-Z took the stage, the couple stopped frenching.
As soon as the lead singer, p-yellow, flicked his first booger into the audience the boys in the crowd proceeded to spaz out like they were all once again at a 4th grade sleep-over, wrestling their best buddies in a finished basement littered with broken bits of Bugles during the boring local news until SNL starts. The girls in the crowd wailed on tin pans with drumsticks and a few even wailed right back on the rambunctious boys in the front.
You don’t go to a Peelander-Z show for the music, hell, they don’t even play their own instruments for half the show. Essentially a three-piece with a host of rotating characters, Peelander-Z puts on a performance that is more of a vignette of stunts with musical interludes. Their hour-long show Tuesday at the Black Cat backstage was a series of fifteen minute free-for-alls punctuated with thirty-second choruses and group chants about cooking steak, the letter “Y”, health, and mad tigers.
The first time I saw Peelanader-Z was a little over a year ago in Austin. Despite the show being in the middle of the day and me being hungover and grumpy as hell after three days of the SXSW grind, Peelander-Z still managed to blow me away with their stage show. They wore awesome costumes, they human bowled, they gave their instruments to audience members, they were absurd; I was stunned.
When the the P’s came to DC9 last fall, I was able to adequately prepare for the experience. I coaxed a ton of friends out on a Monday night, got wasted, and had the time of my life. Yay! They still had awesome costumes, human bowled, gave their instruments to audience members, they were still absurd.
And now, after three shows, I am peelandered-out. Without the initial shock of my first Peelander experience, or the raised blood alcohol level at the second, I am forced to wonder: is Peelander-Z a novelty act? While P-virgins had the time of their lives around me, I stressed about what it must be like to be a Peelander and have to do the same thing show-after-show so energetically: crowd surf, get on a big wheel and crash into a set of bowling pins, lead a conga line, crowd surf some more. Don’t get me wrong all of these things are awesome!–but for a group that so heavily focuses on performance and “just feeeeling”, the predictability of the Peelander-Z’s live show was really disappointing.
I think Peelander-Z is f-ing awesome as a concept (read more about that in our interview with the band). I’m a Peelander-Z fan, but I think it’s more of a Christmas-&-Easter-Only devotion; you can only take so much of the band so often. Hopefully the next time they come to DC we’ll see something new. I’ll definitely be there, but I’ll definitely be drunk… just in case.
Speaking of concept bands! Here’s a list of some of the greatest concept band (feel free to add)
The Residents- Interview
Daft Punk- Robot Rock
Devo- Gates of Steel.
GWAR- Womb With A View
Laibach- Geburt Einer Nation