My Journey Through a Peelander Z Show
Not every photo in this blog is included because of technical quality, but instead for story quality.
So I had heard about this band that was coming to town named Peelander Z. All I was told about them was that they were Japanese and "weird." For the couple of weeks before the show I was debating on if I was going to go or not but decided the day before I was based on the amount of hype there was about this strange band and then also the fact that my university's newspaper was running a story on them and I needed to photograph it.
So here I am at Sundown Tavern Saturday night, September 25, 2016. I have been here many times to hang out with friends and a few times to see concerts. It isn't a huge bar but big enough to have 100 people cram into one room for a concert. At 10 the show starts with the opener, Gar Gar.
Now I had never heard of Gar Gar but Gar Gar is a guy in a suit and reptile mask whose songs were....different. The performance was more of a sing speak with prerecorded music and in my opinion was not the greatest. He was a good warm up for the weird that we were all about to experience though.
So after 30 minutes of Gar Gar, we get to the main show, the mysterious Peelander Z. So the band gets on stage wearing these fantastic outfits, each with their own color and helmets. So may I introduce Peelander Yellow, Peelander Pink, and Peelander Green.
Almost as soon as they get on stage, Yellow tells the crowd that they are not there to play music, but to have fun, and while they did not have the most amazing music (still good music), they put on the best show I have ever seen. At first they just play some music very enthusiastically.
So here I am trying to photograph this the best I can. I am in a very tight space with people moving and flailing all over the place (so many hands and arms ruining my photos). I am trying so hard to get the sharpest and best composed photos that I can for the paper that I am not always paying attention to the show as much as I would like to.
It is at this point that what can only be described as shenanigans begin. The first thing they do, not too crazy is pick out a tall guy in the front row to hold the microphone. This guy happens to be my buddy Lou. He is the big guy on the left. So Yellow leans back on the crowd and sings into the mic held by Lou.
Once he gets off the crowd he whips around while still standing on the speakers and holds his yellow guitar out to let the crowd strum it for a few seconds. Crowd has pretty much been losing their minds the entire time they have been on stage. After letting the crowd join in for a few seconds he begins to pick some people out to come up on stage. The first two are a guy and girl. The girl is another one of my friends, Ashley. Yellow tells them that everyone needs to exercise before they dance, and that Ashley and the other person are there to help teach the audience how to exercise.
These are probably the best shots I have of each of the two on stage. Sorry bud.
The band gave a brief demonstration of the exercise (very similar arm movements to Y.M.C.A) and then let them go while they play music. The audience all follow suit.
Once they are done warming everyone up, Yellow, gently directs Ashley off stage, but keeps the other guy up there. He then centers him on the stage and goes to the audience and motions with his arm for the audience to compress. HE IS GOING TO MAKE THIS GUY STAGE DIVE. I'm very calmly losing my mind. After a brief countdown the guy takes a quick step off the large speakers in front of the stage and is suddenly sent away from the stage via the hands of the audience.
After this happens we go back to a more standard concert, but only for a little bit. Soon Green puts on his helmet and grabs a cowbell. His helmet looks fantastic by the way. He does not keep it on for long but while he keeps the attention of some people, Yellow and Pink hand out cheap metal dog food bowls and drumsticks to a bunch of people close to the front. Once they get the group of people with bowls on the beat with some pre-recorded music, Green takes off the helmet and follows Yellow into the crowd with Pink right behind him.
I do not know where they got it from but suddenly Pink and Yellow have a long rope that they are using as a limbo stick for members of the audience to go under. After some people go under it they return to the stage and begin to use it as a jump rope. Pink is the first to jump and fails very quickly. Green trades spots with her and does a fantastic job.
After a few good jumps, they put the rope up and go back to the microphones. maybe about 2 or 3 minutes later yellow grabs someone from the crowd that they knew. I think I was told he was someone who helps them set everything up, maybe? Either way its a pretty big dude and Yellow pushes him down and gets on his shoulders and tells everyone to watch him do a trick. He grabs the lid of one of the
containers that hey have props in and begins to spin it on one finger. I was actually a little impress that he was spinning it for so long.
Yellow throws the lid down and hops off the guy's shoulders and continue to sing and play music. Here is Pink showing her sexiness during one of the songs.
Soon after Yellow is trying to get some crowd participation by getting everyone to yell, "1,2,3,4!" after he yells a "1,2!". There is a guy in the front row who keeps purposely saying the wrong thing after the countdown so Yellow takes his hat. Once he has the crowd doing what he wants he pulls my friend Chandler on stage. Now this is probably my favorite part of the show. Everyone enjoyed it, especially those of us who were friends with chandler, including his girlfriend.
Above is yellow picking Chandler out of the crowd with the guy's hat on and below is him telling Chandler that he is a rock star.
I took a lot of photos of this part of the show because I knew all of mine and Chandler's friends would want to see this. It was also such a fantastic part of the show. So Yellow tells Chandler that he is now a rock star and very quickly, his shirts come off. Yellow is telling him that not only is he a rock star but that he is Bon Jovi. Chandler takes a moment to become a true rock star. Yellow then points to some girls in the crowd and tells Chandler to give them a smile to make the girls go crazy, It might have been alcohol or just his smile or both, but some of the smiles not shown were a bit creepy looking (sorry Chandler).
So now Yellow lets Chandler practice yelling 1,2,3,4 because he is now a rock star and is partially controlling the concert now. Once he has the countdown good and ready he tries to find someone to film the show. He looks to me to see if I can do it but I was just there to capture the show and I had never really done film on my DSLR. I also had very little space left on my card. So he finds a girl to film it. I do not have any photos of her but Yellow for a brief time takes the phone and films himself and Chandler together. So now that he has selfie filmed himself he gives the phone back to her and lets Chandler take control. He is going to be controlling the show. Chandler takes a moment or two to ready himself. The concentration and mental preparing are very strong,
So this goes on for a little while, Chandler is dancing and throwing out the occasional 1,2,3,4, when needed and eventually gets of stage, shirts in hand. Here are some pictures of Lou looking entranced and happy right after Peelander Chandler left the stage. I love this guy.
Now that Peelander Chandler has left the stage they begin to pull people from the audience yet again to stage dive, this time one guy and one girl.
After getting these two to stage dive, Yellow and Green trade instruments, and Green begins to be a complete bad ass with this guitar. He is turning the guitar upside down, he goes and plays face to face with Pink, who is holding her pink bass with 2 strings, and even sings a little bit. Green is also the most...normal? looking of the 3. Looks like a dad who has a ton of fun to me.
Right after this they pull yet another person onto stage for a stage dive. This guy has a wolf hat. Its kinda neat. (That's Chandler's girlfriend's hand with the neat tattoo)
Now they go into a song I can only assume is called Medium Rare. It is during this song that something that I have never seen happens. The band starts to bring some other people on stage to play their instruments. The first person pulled is someone from their record label. He takes Yellow's guitar and starts playing the song. Next they pull someone who must have been a manager, roadie, or band member who didn't want to play. I don't know ho he was, all I know is that they knew him. He takes Pink's bass and starts playing along with the other guy. Then Yellow goes to the audience and says that he needs a drummer. There is a guy who sort of looks like me, especially from the back, who is a drummer in my university's drum line. He gets called on stage (what a great choice that was). He takes Green's spot and starts playing and all three of them are playing so well together I never would have know that the original band had left the stage if I didn't know better.
While the new band is playing, the Peelander put their amazing helmets back on and Yellow and Green create a large alley from the stage all the way to the entrance to the bar part of the tavern. Once the two of them get off stage, Pink begins to set up some bowling pins. Yellow and Green run up and down their newly formed bowling alley a couple of times just being silly. Yellow has a whistle and is blowing it in a consistent beat. Green spins Yellow around in a circle a couple of times and sends hum running towards the stage where he falls on top of all of the pins. It looked like it hurt a little bit. Green comes and picks up Yellow and they share a small celebratory moment.
The band now takes their places back on stage and lets the replacements go back but not without letting them get one good cheer from the audience.
The show is starting to come to an end, but of course not without one more stage dive/crowd surf. This time the guy pulls out his hone and gets what I imagine to be a fantastic video of himself.
So now we are finally at the end of the show with the last song "Mad Tiger." Everyone is once again holding up their claws. This entire time I have been trying to get a decent photo that has all three band members in it. I finally get one that I think is decent. Big relief for me even though it is not ideal.
The song finally ends along with the show. Yellow and Pink go to the restaurant part of the tavern and sell a ton of merchandise (I got me a large poster and a t shirt). I finally leave after an hour and a half of pure entertaining insanity knowing that I have a few hundred photos to sift through. Worth it.
Here are a few images that I wanted to share that I couldn't quite fit into the post's story. The first one is Pink holding up one of their many signs. The second one is Yellow Freezing in between songs. The third is Yellow and Green's helmet. The fourth is Pink being super happy about playing her 2 stringed bass. The fifth is Yellow deciding who to pick from the crowd to pull on stage. The sixth is that cool wolf hat I told you about.