Hours after a volcanic fissure ruptured in Fimmvörðuháls on the vernal equinox, Canadian electro-glam star Peaches erupted onto NASA’s stage in a fury of beats, costumes, hair, and attitude—a suitable finale for the inaugural Reykjavík Fashion Festival.
Peaches’ musical persona is obsessed with hair and costume; she has worn beards for media appearances, displayed her own private curly fringe for CD covers and online interviews, and—well—her fourth album title speaks for itself: Impeach My Bush. In videos such as Serpentine and Talk to Me, hair adorns costumes as fringe, while in Tombstone Baby two women toy with sexual flirtation and frustration through acts of hair stroking and pulling.
With Peaches’ attempts to untangle conventional attitudes to hair, it was appropriate that she took the NASA stage dressed in boxing shoes and a black-hair body suit with towering head dress. Her second song, the aforementioned Talk to Me, demanded responses from two blonde go-go dancers who joined Peaches onstage, both silent dancers in black underwear and oversized matted wigs that obscured their faces.
Peaches oscillated between enticement and violence as she interacted with the audience. With swift kicks, she swiped empty bottles off the stage in a spray of broken glass. Her performance pushed through choreography and costume changes (from towels to pussy lights, glam-rock necklaces to prosthetic breasts), props and prat falls—dangerous enough with a drunken, infatuated mass surging towards the stage, eager to paw Peaches.
Playing into this visceral audience desire and her own ideology, Peaches delivered a series of interactive antics (spray-spitting fake blood, pulling pretty girls onstage to dance, allowing hungry hands to molest her guitar) that amped up the crowd’s party drive.
Peaches even crowd-surfed and walked all over the audience. To prep the howling mass for this latter stunt, she shouted, “Are you ready for something special, Reykjavík? … Jesus walked on water; Peaches walks on you.” She chased this with stripped-down beats and laissez-faire lyrics in Serpentine, a song from her newest album I Feel Cream, with a chorus that proved the motto of the night: “I don’t give a fuck if you maul me.”
I stood and watched the grotesquery of the evening. A hard-working (and arguably exhausted) performer executed choreographed moments and pushed or kicked any object or person out of her way while booze-soaked beauties, bedecked in fine suits and frocks, pulsed their young bodies and yelled infatuation unintelligently. My mind wandered to a YouTube fan video for Peaches’ anthemic Fuck the Pain Away paired with Miss Piggy clips. Excess. Desperation. Greed. Shock art of swine in pearls. Puppet perversion, jerks and gyrations, mouth full of sexually explicit expletives.
Whether drunk, bitter, sleepy, euphoric, or volcanic, by the end of Peaches’ performance, we all found our release.
- Where: NASA
- When: March 20th 2010
- Who: Peaches, Ladytron DJ’s, Bloodgroup, Sykur