Upon first hearing Peaches’ The Teaches of Peaches, my college art school ears perked with curiosity. “Fuck the Pain Away” lyrics interjected with “Stay in school, ‘cuz it’s the best.” It was abrasively raw, yet also inspirational and educational—a recipe for excellence. Although the Canadian’s lyrics can be interpreted as widely as the hot options of a Sizzler salad bar, her message is pure in breaking down our very human needs and desires. The lyrics might not go over well with your high school guidance counselors, but they are likely repressed on many levels.
Going to see a live performance of Peaches is not just a concert. It’s partially a Gwar show, partially a thesis presentation, and partially a hiphop lesson. At this occasion, she emerges on stage in dramatic lighting with elaborate pink foam and vinyl cloaking. A hand design is stitched into the material to peak the theme of Peaches’ sex-positive aesthetic. Opening with the eponymous track of her new album “Rub,” the bass thumps heavily with her assertive instruction to do as the title suggests. A couple of songs in she declares, “Tonight isn’t about big dicks, big tits, or ass … it’s about vagina.” Cheers erupt and two of her dancers burst from the curtains in giant, plush costumes, smiling seductively with giant labia around their shoulders like an elaborate scarf. It is the glamorous intro to another new track, “Vagioplasty.” Vagina #1 with a five o’clock shadow winks to Vagina #2 and they pounce onto Peaches after she unsuccessfully attempts to flee. It’s like watching a modern adaptation of Benny Hill.
Her new album Rub boasts powerful female cohorts—Feist, Kim Gordon, and Simmone Jones. Lindsey Troy of opening act Deap Valley joins her onstage this evening to share some her 1970s motorcycle growl. As the night heats up, Peaches gets collaborative with the audience, she sheds layers of clothing to reveal cleverly custom jazzercise-esque costumes—many fans are dressed up for the occasion as well. It’s an interactive show as she sprays fluids on them without warning. She climbs across raised hands both by foot and by inflated bubble. These interactions keep Peaches as the king of her domain—sharing admiration and creating a unity throughout the venue. There are still many lessons to be learned from this tenacious, vivacious Canadian of many talents, and we should take heed. Get a taste below.