If you have never seen Peaches live, drop everything and fly to wherever you need to in order to cross her off your list. My exhaustion level is ridiculous after taking a mid-week trip down to Iowa in the middle of a world-class concert binge but there was nothing that was going to stop me from seeing Peaches on Friday night.
Peaches wasted no time jumping into her powerful albeit raunchy show. As soon as the lights went down and the stage was set, the 55-year-old Canadian took the stage pretending to be an old lady with a walker. The crowd roared with applause as the “old lady gag” quickly turned into a class A Peaches set. Her sweat suit was shed and there she was, in all of her glory, with just pasties and skin-colored bottoms. Shocking? Definitely, if you had no clue what you were walking into but, for those of us who had experienced the magic that is Peaches before, there was nothing new here and it truly came off as liberating but more on that later.
Peaches is known for her outrageous performances and she didn’t hold back in the intimate setting of The Varsity Theater in Minneapolis. Although I lost count of how many costume changes there were throughout her hour-and-a-half-long set, she was never fully clothed but that’s just part of who she is. What drew me to Peaches at the beginning was her true “I don’t give a fuck” attitude. From ageism to sexism, Peaches takes everything you know and turns it on its head. She’s not afraid to be her age, she’s not afraid to be female, and she definitely isn’t afraid to talk about things that have turned into taboo in a way. From vagina costumes to her dancers and bandmates simulating sex on stage, Peaches blurs the line of what’s appropriate and what is too raunchy for the stage.
Yes, I know that I just blasted Motley Crue for the scantily-clad dancers they had on the stage last weekend and Peaches’ dancers had even less clothing on than that but here’s the difference- Peaches liberates women. Motley Crus objectifies them. As raunchy as it may get at times there was never a point where I felt embarrassed for the performers on the stage and only felt liberated by seeing all of the different bodies and movements happening in front of me. Pardon my language here but her performances give power to the pussy and that’s a power that I think gets shut down a lot in this world.
Friday night’s concert was part of the twenty-year (well, twenty-two-year thanks to covid) anniversary tour for Peaches’ second album, The Teaches of Peaches. I iconic for a million and twelve different reasons, the band powered through the album in its entirety and then followed it with a few tracks from her other five albums. Regardless of what song the band was blazing through, there was an undeniable sense of power and energy that came from both the audience and stage combining to make a hell of an experience. Sure, there were all of her antics from the inflatable “penis” that was really just a long clear tube that extended over the crowd and Peaches crawled through while performing to the champagne showering the crowd during the first of two encores, but, take that all away and you were still left with a great show. Peaches’ music doesn’t do much for me as it’s a bit too electronic based on my personal preference but, again, her lyrics liberate me in a strange way. The mix of everything happening made me feel okay to dance like an idiot even though I was there alone and I never once felt a like of judgment from anyone in the audience.
I would never want to be an opening act for a performer as strong as Peaches but Shannon Blowtorch had that job on Friday. This local DJ is a force and her power behind the turntables and computer made her the only possible opener. Shannon never really addressed the audience but instead provided the perfect bouncy soundtrack to get people warmed up for what was to come. Powering through a slight technical hiccup towards the end of the set, I really think that Shannon’s quick opening DJ set really set the tone for the night in a flawless way.