Real life insanity thrives at The Marquis

Photo // Sarai Nissan


There are very few acts that can be associated with the words “punk-rock Power Rangers.” One of the few and proud that rock this title is Peelander-Z.

The group is a Japanese punk band currently based in New York City that formed in 1998. Although all of the members were born and raised in Japan, the band only took shape once they all met in New York. Since then the group have slammed and made notable appearances at major rock music festivals like Riot Fest, Vans Warped Tour, and Bonnaroo.

The band has also been featured in publications such as SPIN, Rolling Stone, NPR, and even The Onion. Dubbing themselves Peelander-Yellow, Peelander-Red, and Peelander-Blue, the“Japanese action comic-punk band hailing from the Z area of Planet Peelander” states that at their live performances, they guarantee “intense audience participation and a chance to exercise.” Consider that guarantee fulfilled.

These eccentric individuals took over the Marquis Theater on April 13 with Filthy Hearts, Younger Than Neil, and Mission Accomplished. The openers embodied a kind of street-punk revival, gathering energy and support from friends and fans that had begun to filter through the doors of the Marquis. It wasn’t until 9:45 when Peelander-Z was supposed to take the stage that the energy between fans and individuals near the stage became palpable.

As the members—Peelander Yellow, Red, Green, Pink, and Purple, an ever revolving cast of characters—took the stage for a typical soundcheck, the audience was already getting riled for their performance. Peelander-Z is known for their unconventional style and stage antics so as the crowd cheered for them to come back and play one more song, red strobe lights began to flash about the stage and a count up had began to commence over the house speaks.

A  disembodied voice counted to 10, chanting until the group returned to the small, dimly lit stage in elaborate and color-coordinated costumes. The group alleviated the restlessness of their fans by immediately beginning with one of their better known songs “Ninja High School.”

Peelander-Z is a complete and utter spectacle but one that is obscenely fun and ridiculous. Their performance was very much like the surreal gimmicks of a Japanese game show; members held up signs that said “Beaver Feaver” and told the crowd that they “need exercise” before they pulled up two crowd members to perform their strange aerobic routine that could easily be seen in an anime.

Despite Peelander-Z’s general draw as insane performers, they are actually talented musicians as well, although the focus is certainly not on their musicianship, but their audience interaction. Peelander-Z is a rare breed indeed, a band that does not exist anywhere in this universe, or a band that most people have ever experienced, but seeing the group live is an event that no one would regret.

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