“Fall seven times, stand up eight.” –Japanese proverb
“Go to a Peelander Z show, you will participate!”
A tsunami of rock crashed onto the shores of Pensacola and invaded Sluggo’s Vegetarian Restaurant Tuesday night. The ingredients of the sonic storm included a twist of Comic-con, dashes of Cirque Du Soleil, a pinch of David Lynch, flashes of your favorite Japanese monster movies, a few episodes of ESPN2 bowling and a ton of booty shakin’ rock n’ roll.
The night began with the Super Nice Bros, former Mobile, Alabama residents who now call New Orleans, Louisiana home-base for their operation of fun, crazy-time music. If you didn’t crack a rib while laughing during the trio’s set, then you should go see a doctor to make sure you have the essential anatomy parts and aliens didn’t remove them prior to the show. Funky, funny and freakin’ crazy, Ponytail (lead singer) played the role of MC/carnival barker during this musical circus while Appleseed (drums)held down the beats and rhythm. Sporting a black coat that evoked memories of a carnival master, Ponytail led the crowd with dance instructions such as raising their hands in the air, followed by putting a “finger down” so that we can “stir the bean dip!” The Super Nice Bros. let it all hang out and got everyone in the mood. One would be hard-pressed to find another musical act capable of preparing the audience for the night we were about to enjoy.
Second on the bill were, TsuShiMaMiRe. On tour supporting their new album entitled “Sex on the Beach,” The trio from Japan, formed by Mari (guitar/vocals), Yayoi (bass) and Mizue (drums) balanced a high-wire dance mix of killer-dressed surf guitar riffs and funk driven grooves to the melodious delectation of the crowd. Their supreme musicianship was punctuated with energy and rapport that navigated any language barriers with sonic speed and graciousness.
Straight out of New York, by way of Japan, the next performers in the night’s one ring carnival of rock were headliners, Peelander Z. Bringing their prop-driven rock circus to one of the most intimate venues in Northwest Florida was a hands-on adventure for everyone to behold. Whether it be the ceremonial high-fives issued from Kengoswee aka Peelander Yellow (guitar/vocals), the carrying and shaking of props handed out by Yumyum aka Peelander Pink (mascot), playing drums for Cherry aka Peelander Green (drums) or hoisting KO aka Peelander Red (bass/vocals) on your shoulders during a song, everyone at this show was deputized for duty in the Peelander Z family.
With enough cue cards to make Bob Dylan and the Ramones jealous, and more interesting costume changes than an Elton John tour, Peelander Z demanded energy and participation from the crowd in return for their excitement and music. Their wild set alone was well worth the cover charge.