Sure, doing this night after night is amazing but, like everything else, it can get old. I always try to search out what I think could be weird shows or shows with an injury count (because, let’s be honest, it adds excitement). I knew last night’s Peelander-Z show was going to be a weird one– I knew it was going to be interesting musically and nothing short of entertaining when it came to the performance factor. That being said, I don’t think anything could have prepared me for what happened.
Everyone’s favorite elementary school MC’s Koo Koo Kanga Roo kicked off the night. I know I’ve written about these guys a million times but it never hurts to remind you just how amazing this duo is. KKKR is a duo from the suburbs of the Twin Cities that, although they literally do performances at elementary schools, has gained this sort of cult-like following in the rock and punk scenes. Regardless if you are 7 or 77, KKKR is one of the best live bands out there (go ahead and fight me on this). The amount of energy is insane and, regardless of how shy you are, they will have you shaking your booty and doing aerobics in front of the crowd. My favorite thing about these guys is that their shows at bars seem to stay the same as what I assume their shows at elementary schools are. It’s family-friendly fun presented to a 21+ crowd that has been drinking for awhile… I mean, that’s just something you can’t put into words.
Local trio Bug Fix was up next. I caught these guys awhile back and fell in love with them but, with so many huge shows to cover, I hadn’t seen them sense. Catching their all-to-quick set last night instantly reminded me why I fell in love with this local trio the first time. Their songs are quick and punchy with a very garage-punk vibe to them. Even though their set seemed especially short, Bug Fix packed a punch with the time they were given. They may have been the most (or only) normal band on the three band bill last night but they didn’t seem to mind. Their fast and dirty music bridged the gap perfectly from elementary school rap to what was to come making them the perfect fit for this bill. Although they definitely seemed to get a bit lost in the line-up, I feel like they made an impression on the good-sized crowd that had come out for a night of fun.
Closing out the night was everyone’s favorite Japanese Action Comic Punk band from the Z area of planet Peelander– Peelander-Z. I don’t even know where to begin with this bandbut bear with me as I word vomit for far too many paragraphs about how damn amazing this band’s live show is.
Peelander-Z is a weird band. There’s no beating around the bush on that. The members of this group were all born in Japan but met in New York City. There’s a whole elaborate backstory to this band including the aforementioned Z area of planet Peelander. Although their customs aren’t as outlandish as Gwar, the color coordinated outfits (each member is Peelander *insert color here*) are said to be their skin, not just costumes. Have I lost you yet? With eleven albums, a spattering of singles and splits, and a bunch of other releases including a documentary on Netflix entitled “Mad Tiger” (that’s your cue to add it to your ‘watch list’), Peelander-Z is not a new band and to call them legends wouldn’t be a stretch. Having only caught them once at Zombie Pub Crawl where I was yards away from their hilarious antics, I was super stoked to be up close and personal with this strange band.
Last night Peelander-Z came in the form of a trio- Peelander Purple, Peelander Pink, and Peelander Yellow. Although they only had three members last night, it didn’t stop them from seemingly pretending to have a full band. With a couple of drums and cymbals set up in the back of the stage, the band played along with a drum track that gave the illusion of a drummer being there. A bit kooky? Yes, but honestly that may have been the most normal part of the night. I quickly realized that Peelander Pink’s hot pink bass only had two bright pink strings running down the neck of the instrument. Although these two things made it clear that this band clearly doesn’t take themselves too seriously when it comes to their music, there’s not denying that there’s talent here. Sure, their antics and outfits are outlandish but take that away and you are left with some good old fashioned punk music (with some of the oddest lyrics I’ve ever heard).
I could list off all of the antics that happened during their set last night but you would either not believe me or nothing would make sense. I mean, come on, there was human bowling where Peelander Yellow hopped onto a table about halfway through the venue and then had audience members carry him to stage where bowling pins had been set up. The crowd roared with laughter as his bald head hit the pins earning him a strike. Then there was the moment where the band invited random audience members up on stage and proceeded to hand off their instruments leaving these random people to play while the members of the group took a quick break. There was a lot of audience participation throughout their set like when the band handed out pots and wooden spoons so the audience could play along or when the walked through the audience with a giant rope forcing everyone to do the limbo. My favorite part had to have been when Peelander Yellow jumped in the audience and started a circle pit but commanded it with his obnoxious whistle. The circle would start off slow and then, with the toot of his whistle, the audience (myself included) would start to run. A whistle later and we were back to the slow paced circle. Somehow that circle pit ended up with the entire audience laying on the floor of the Turf Club. Not sure how it happened but I blame that damn whistle.
Last night was easily one of the oddest shows I’ve ever seen but it was definitely one of the best. My cheeks are still sore from smiling so much. This show is definitely in the running for best show of the year.