Over The Weekend: Peaches and Drums of Death at the Granada Theater

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Peaches, Drums of Death
Granada Theater
June 12, 2009

Better than: the last show I was supposed to review for DC9.

It's fitting that the most climactic moment of Peaches' nearly two-hour set at the Granada came before her two encores, as she finished her main set by launching into her breakthrough electro-clash hit, "Fuck The Pain Away," probably the first Peaches single that many in the nearly sold-out crowd ever heard.

Peaches and Sweet Machine, the backing band on her current tour, went on to play several other hits, sure, but the crowd's enthusiasm and intensity never fully returned after singing along with the performer for her biggest song.

It was the, um, climax of the night. 

The opening act, Drums of Death cranked out some undeniably danceable banger beats to open the show, but the raucous vocals from the man who helped produce Peaches' latest release came off a bit pitch-y at times. Still, with his face painted black and white--a bit gimmicky a la Insane Clown Posse--and with his logo projected onto the big screens it was tough not to take notice of his performance (even if he was wearing his own band shirt).

For the first half of his set, it seemed that the majority of the crowd was trying to figure out what the heck was going on. Yet, despite a non-responsive audience, Drums of Death continued performing, flailing his arms energetically in an attempt to whip the crowd into a frenzy. After about 30 minutes of flailing, the crowd started to give in.

Were they warming up to the act? Or had their drinks finally started to kick in? It's hard to say. Because, not long after people finally took his bait, the set ended with Drums of Death diving into the crowd.

And in the moments before Peaches took the stage, the temperature in the Granada seemed to be escalating along with the crowd's increased anticipation. Then, at 10:15 p.m. sharp, a recorded cover version of Divinyl's "I Touch Myself" filled the theater.

The eager crowd sang along.

So when the projection screen that covered the stage lifted, and Peaches was revealed standing behind it, she was welcomed by a roaring audience.

While sporting a lurid getup somewhat resembling a pink Japanese lantern, or maybe even a chewed up piece of bubble gum (needless to say, it was enormous, pink and all-encompassing), she ironically opened with "Showstopper" off her latest album, I Feel Cream, belting out the lyrics while jumping on top of her drummer's bass drum. It was an early indication of how energetic her set would be.

She performed her next song "Trick or Treat," while still atop the bass drum. At that moment, though, she pulled back the head piece of her costume revealing her blonde mullet, leaping off the drum and landing legs spread, the first blatantly sexual gesture of the night. All the while, she vamped, "There's nothing wrong with a little bit of... uh... uh..."  as the crowd responded, rapturously, in dance.

The first costume change of the night occurred during the performance of her third song, where Peaches peeled off her pink fluff, revealing an equally gaudy black-and-gold leotard. From this point onward, her costume changes were frequent.

But, despite her reputation for stripping down completely, Peaches did not reveal all to the receptive crowd at the Granada Theater last night.

In fact, there was hardly any smut at all. With the exception of a few phallic gestures made with her microphone and some overly-sexualized exaggerated pelvic thrusting, it was, all in all, a clean performance. Peaches' shock-antics were nowhere to be found; rather, she dazzled the crowd with a vastly entertaining, high-energy performance.

She danced around on stage, played the guitar, preformed smack-dab in the middle of the crowd and, at one point during the night, scaled the right rafter, while performing suspended two stories above the stage.

(Wait--she's still a 40-year-old former school teacher, right!?!?!)

Her energy was infectious, too--and this became wildly apparent during her performance of "Shake Yer Dix." Not 30 seconds into the song, nearly half of crowd peeled off their shirts. While most were content to swing their garments over their heads, chanting along with the singer, some took it further, flinging their shirts onto the stage.

And though she ended the night with two encores, she still left her crowd wound up and wanting more. After last nights performance, it's safe to say that Dallas loves Peaches.

Critic's Notebook
Random Note:
This is the first show I've been to where I've personally witnessed a guy fall over a ledge in a drunken stupor, faceplant, and, within seconds, jump to his feet and start dancing like nothing happened. 

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