Japanese comic punk rockers Peelander-Z braved the weather on Saturday night for a rowdy show at Red 7. Review by Zack Teibloom. Photos by Roger Ho.
"I thought they were going to wear costumes," the girl next to me disappointingly noted to her friend. With pouring rain seeping through the slats in the roof at Red 7, Peelander-Z took the stage, half-costumed, at 12:28 a.m. late Saturday night. Sure, Peelander Z was all in yellow, with his gigantic yellow-died beard, and Peelander Red was decked out in, well, red, but this was not the full fledged "superheroes from Outer Space" costume Peelander-Z fans had come to expect. But here they were, teasing Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" at 12:28, and I'd bet my girlfriend breakfast that they'd take the stage before 12:31 am.
It felt like the band had to be in on the bet when they did a space countdown from ten to one at 12:32 a.m. before coming on stage at 12:33 a.m. in their full extravagant costumes. It was unfortunate for me and my free breakfast dreams, but it was perfect for the girl who wanted costumes and everyone who braved the rain for a brilliant interactive late night punk show.
A few minutes later the crowd was going wild for "So Many Mike," Peelander-Z's take on how all American's seem to have the same first name. We waved our arms in the 4-move pattern Peelander Yellow led us through. We were so packed together, I had to fake it for the first two arm movements so I wouldn't whack the people on either side of me in the face. The next big crowd pleaser was "Mad Tiger," with the crowd making claw hands as the band wore tiger masks. Other members of the crowd were brought up to beat hand drums made of metal objects that looked like dog dishes. "Let's Go Bowling" led to gigantic bowling pins and Peelander Red using ropes to hang himself from the rafters to play a guitar solo upside down.
Moments like these never stop at a Peelander-Z show. Even if it's your first show, you'll feel like their oldest fan, as they hold up giant cue cards with song titles and key phrases so you can instantly sing along. Even if you aren't stage diving, being called on stage to sing or play the drums or do the limbo in the crowd. They also endear themselves oh so well with their banter. I have nothing but love for him, but Peelander Yellow is not a good looking man. Yet when he points at four people and says "Ugly, ugly, ugly, ugly," before pointing at himself and saying "handsome!" or says he'll kiss any girl with glasses after the show as an intro for "Get Glasses," how can you not smile?
The whole band is from Japan and even though they met and formed in New York, they can be more than a little hard to understand at times. But when Yellow starts talking about eggs and potato and migas, you know he's about to start singing about tacos in "Taco Taco Tacos." They also sang about baseball, milkshakes and steak, served "Medium Rare." After bringing a random guy from the crowd to sing (he was such a pro!) and having an entire kid band play, Peelander-Z told us they're sad to leave Austin, but will be back for Fun Fun Fun Fest in November. Not since Dr. John and The Meters played "Desitively Bonnaroo" at Bonnaroo has a band so perfectly fit the festival they're playing. -Zack Teibloom