If you weren’t at the Highdive this past Sunday night you missed out on a truly wacky and wonderful show. The night couldn’t have consisted of three more different bands, yet somehow the sequence seamlessly molded a night of awesome music and entertainment for all in attendance.
Opening up the evening was The Dirty Feathers, and who better to draw the audience in for the night than some amazing local talent? While the Highdive was still filling up The Dirty Feathers began and a crowd instantly started forming. They opened cold with “Blue Flame” instantly filling the venue with the piercing effect of their guitars’ sound and front-man Andrew Kling’s vocals. Their debut full-length album, Midnight Snakes, released just a couple of weeks ago before their Pygmalion performance, and we heard them play many of the songs off of that album. A personal favorite of the night was “Echo Hands” which they played not too long after the fog came out. Yes, this was a rock show complete with fog. As the first band to play the show The Dirty Feathers packed as much wailing rock energy into their set as any headliner.
The second band of the night was Peelander-Z. Holy shitake mushrooms. This was by far the craziest performance I’ve ever experienced. This is not a band, it is a three-ringed Japanese comic strip circus (meant in the friendliest way possible, of course). Every member of the band was decked out in a different color. For example: Peelander-Yellow, Peelander-Pink, Peelander-Red, and Peelander-Green. They call themselves “The Japanese Action Comic Punk Band” and that is precisely what the audience experienced. Their set was complete with songs such as “Mad Tiger” or familiar tune like “Old MacDonald” redone in a punk rendition (The crowd had to quickly shout “E-I-E-I-O!”). I’d heard Peelander-Z was interactive with their audience, and they lived up to the hype. Early in the show Peelander-Red jumped off stage and ran to shred on his guitar atop the Highdive bar, and at another point Peelander-Pink literally jumped on a guy in the crowd. Every song required the audience to shout, do hand motions, or bang on little tin bowls the band handed out to members of the audience. All of that was just in addition to pulling out a rope to jump rope or limbo under, as well as segments on the floor such as “Baseball Time” or “Let’s Bowl,” both titles are pretty self-explanatory. I think a quote from Peelander-Yellow will sum up the energy of their show fairly accurate, “We don’t want to play music; we just want to play with you… We never bite you, so don’t be scared, just have fun. We are king of party time.”
After the insanity that was Peelander-Z Peelander-Yellow’s alleged three ex-girlfriends took the stage. Those Darlins instantly captured the attention of the Highdive with their tattoos, smokey eyes, and even a gold sequin leotard; essentials of the filthy glam they never cease to emanate. Holding nothing back Jessi, Kelley, Nikki, and Linwood began their set with the favorite off of their second album (Screws Get Loose), “Be Your Bro.” Jessi’s quirky little country tone paired perfectly against Nikki and Kelley’s lower, sultrier voices as they played mainly songs from Screws Get Loose. Their sexy edge is irresistible on stage, and as performers they’ve grown each time I’ve seen them. Each of the Darlins has their own style of moving and presenting themselves to the audience whether by swinging their hips or giving a funky death stare. Along with playing songs like “Boy,” “Waste Away,” “Hives,” and “Fatty Needs A Fix” the Darlins played a couple new songs they’ve written. The first was well… country punk; everything we love about the Darlins. The second, as they explained, was “a real feeler;” showing a more romantic and vulnerable side of the band with lyrics like “Why when I sleep at night I only dream of you?” After an audience member gave Nikki a shot and a cigarette they went on to play some other favorites, “Red Light Love” off of their first album and “Screws Get Loose” off of the album of the same name. They wrapped up the show by bringing tour mates Peelander-Z out and basically just going nuts on stage. The chaos couldn’t have been a more appropriate way to end the night.