Peaches at the Fonda Theater by Caren Spitler
October 20th, 2012
It seemed like there was a small earthquake in Hollywood -actually it was just a whole lotta booty-shakin’ (literally a LOT of booty shakin’). Electronic music maven, free-thinker, innovator, and performance artist Peaches took over the Fonda Theater to host a Dance party. The artist created an event part burlesque show, part DJ house-party.
The warm-up acts for the evening consisted of a solo DJ, followed by the New Orleans artist and self-proclaimed “Queen Diva” of Bounce Music Big Freedia. Bounce indeed -from what I can tell this style of music is created solely for twrek style dancing (ass bouncing). Freedia raps over DJ beats to her original tunes like “Ha, Oh Yeah”, and “Azz Everywhere”. Big Freedia was flanked on either side by hip-hop dancers in booty shorts. And as a second song suggest there was plenty of ass everywhere.
Peaches took the stage almost immediately after Freedia’s booty act took their exit. I first saw the artist back in 2003 after her album “Fatherfucker”, in support of the band Queens of the Stone Age. During that performance I had to pick my jaw up off the floor, I couldn’t quite believe what I was seeing. Peaches appeared raw, hungry, raunchy, in-your-face and unapologetic. On that first impression I really wasn’t sure what to make of her performance style, but I came away thoroughly entertained. I was entranced by the inescapable groove and humor of her songs. She attacks what she does with commitment, yet never takes herself too seriously. Since then I’ve purchased every album by Peaches. This is the first time I’ve see her perform since 2003. She still has every ounce of raw energy, she’s still in-your-face, and she wouldn’t be Peaches if she wasn’t still raunchy. Peaches didn’t disappoint.
Taking charge of the stage from her DJ command center, Peaches appeared on stage a blinding vision in her platinum-blonde headdress adorned with golden skulls. For the next hour and 20 minutes the artists wowed onlookers with her multifaceted performance. Throughout the performance cries could be heard from the crowd “I love you Peaches”. At points you’d overhear various comments from the audience about the song, her costumes, or the dancers. by mid-show she had change into some form of cape made out of multiple breasts, and later a leather collar/vest.
The singer/DJ traversed the entire expanse of the stage (and its platform obstacle course), singing and performing vocals between spinning from her control panel. Peaches completely captivates with her ability to multitask on stage. Some of the songs performed included “Talk to Me”, “Downtown”, the timely “Trick or Treat” and her biggest hit “Boys Wanna Be Her”. But if that wasn’t enough the singer also had dancers acting out tableaux along with the songs. Her two burlesque companions performed in various outfits from vintage military, Hindu gods, matadors, unicorns, and werewolves. After the dancers had an onstage brawled Peaches interrupted I saying “Just stop fighting! I mean I have a sensitive side”, as she went into her cover of Tina Turner’s “Private Dancer”. At the end of her act Peaches and dancers performed “Free Pussy Riot” complete with Balaclavas over their faces. The song written for the Russian punk band Pussy Riot convicted of protesting against President Vladimir Putin in a cathedral this year. Two of the band members are currently in prison camp for their supposed crimes. Peaches and her dancers were joined onstage by Simone Jones who wrote the song and partnered with Peaches along with other musicians in efforts to support the Russian band. As the lyrics say “we are all Pussy Riot” She finished the evening with “Fuck the Pain Away”. There was no encore moment, the artists ended the night by selling T-shirts from the stage and then later joining her fans for pictures and autographs. The final show of her passion and dedication to her music and her fans.