Peachcake EP Release Show-Rhythm Room 05/12/2011

It seems May is the month to release amazing records here in the Valley of the Sun and the hits just keep coming. In fact record releases are seemingly endless throughout the rest of the summer. On Thursday, May 12th there was magic in the air at the Rhythm Room to celebrate the release of Peachcake’s new five track EP This Wasn’t Our Plan. Not only is the Rhythm Room just about the perfect place to hold a release party (the sound is always great at the Rhythm Room, at least for the last few years), but the bands choice of compatriots for the show were excellent and it ended up being a nonstop evening of brilliant music that the crowd just loved–even when they didn’t know who they were watching (I was asked at least once during each of the opening acts by someone who was playing). All in all it was an amazing even for a crowd that packed the room.

First of all, throughout the night, legendary local DJ William Reed was continually maintaining the non-stop energy and all around good vibes by filling in all the spaces before and after the musicians would take turns blowing our collective minds. He was like the pace car for the entire race and kept everyone going spinning beats that kept people dancing between sets. Tobie Milford opened the affair with a very short set, which was reportedly and typically brilliant–unfortunately, due to vehicular failure, I missed his set completely (I was glad Whisperlights was also on the bill so I wouldn’t miss out on him completely).

The first surprise of the evening for me and many others was a new up and coming act called Genre. I had seen their name here and there, but I had never heard them and the others I was mingling with at the time were in the same boat–and at the same time we were all incredibly impressed. Their set was amazing, the right blend of indie rock aesthetic with synth drenched pop hooks and a great, albeit slight comical stage presence that kept the right amount of energy going throughout the club. Their tight and terse keyboard and guitar driven sound was right up my alley and though the set was all to short for my tastes, it did leave me wanting more–I’ll definitely be heading out to catch these cats again soon. In the meantime I can deal with the free download of a live performance at the Rogue on their website and so can you: Genre – Live At The Rogue.

Check out a sample of their live performance from that evening:

 

The Whisperlights was up next. I haven’t seen The Whisperlights in a long time, during that long time I have caught Tobie Milford’s solo set too many times to count, written an article about him and memorized his solo EP–if that was on vinyl, I would have worn through the grooves of that thing by now. Nevertheless, I was excited about seeing The Whisperlights again. I was especially psyched to see Henri Bernard (Dry River Yacht Club) on the drums–I love watching him out of the context of his home band to see just what he pulls off in his percussive machinations and I was not disappointed. Their set was hypnotically brilliant–every member of the band brought their “A-Game” and Tobie Milford’s voice is probably just about the greatest thing this side of Jeff Buckley. By now the crowd had really filled in and everyone was asking who was playing in stunned disbelief at what they were hearing.  The finale of Milford’s own solo song “Death!” was absolutely amazing, the full band behind him brought a completely different dimension to the solo recording I’ve memorized. It was all too short of a set, but it wasn’t their evening per se, still you were sad to see their tail lights fade.

Check out The Whisperlights performing “Eaten Alive” that evening:

The show returned to the sound of indie electronica with the emergence of the three piece Factories on the Rhythm Room Stage. This brilliant trio brings out amazingly heavy guitar and keyboard rock with a vocal accuity that somehow holds all together into a strange atmospheric haze. One thing is clear from their performance, Factories feel this music in their very soul and if nothing else proves this, Audra’s non-stop dancing while playing the keys and singing her heart out was enough to keep everyone’s energy going. When she said to the crowd, “I’m having fun! Is anyone else having fun?” Everyone was clearly having fun. Factories emerges from the ashes of Underwater Getdown and in truth they are even better than before. Currently, they have a three song EP available on iTunes and it is to be hoped that a lot more music gets released from these unconventional conventionalists. Be sure to catch them the next time you see them on a flyer for an upcoming show, they will not disappoint you.

Here’s just a taste of their amazing set from that night:

It was finally time for the stars of the show to take the stage and celebrate their evening. Peachcake is known for their live performances, which one must admit is unusual for an all out electronic dance band–in fact for much of their career their eccentric live performances have far outshadowed their recorded output. Something tells me, based on the sheer quality of the music on This Wasn’t Our Plan EP and the upcoming Unbelievable Souls album, their recordings will vie for just as much attention as their stage show. Anyone that has ever been to a Peachcake show, or hell even if you’ve just seen pictures, knows that front man Stefan Pruett is a natural born showman, he is built for the stage and the spotlight loves him. He strolls around with a swagger and a smirk akin to Ray Davies in his early 70s “Everybody’s In Show-Biz” persona. So as soon as he took the stage and the confetti cannons exploded it was truly showtime!

They started with crowd favorite and perfect show opener ”Don’t Panic, It’s Organic!” and almost as soon as Pruett took the stage, he left it with his remote microphone in hand and began dancing and singing amongst the throngs who came to celebrate the release of the brand new EP. There is something completely joyful about watching Peachcake perform and to watch as Pruett ensures he literally reaches out to everyone of his fans as he performs amongst them, occasionally returning to the stage to soak up the spotlight and touch base with the band before heading out to the crowd for some more. Next up was “Speaking Of Handouts, I Got You Something”, a brilliant track from the new EP, which if possible, sounds even better live than on record which, in my mind is a damned difficult thing to do for any electronic pop wunderkind outfit. In short it was amazing through and through.  “Hundreds And Hundreds Of Thousands” from their Chain Letter EP (2004) was next up and it became clear that the entire show was going to be a non-stop showcase of fun, energy and highlights from records both old and new. By the time “Step Away From My Destiny!” began, the crowd was completely in the hands of Pruett, Mike McHale and the rest of the Peachcake crew.

Soon it was time to dig into their last full length album and “Did I Just Do That, Or Was It Jim Carrey?” did just that, transporting the crowd to 2008–except the band is better than ever, better than I’ve ever seen them and the way they played this classic from their back catalog, they sound like they are primed to take over the world.  They stepped up yet another notch for “The World’s Our Platform To Mean Something” and at that moment in time it really felt like the title of that song was true. The performance was flawless, the music would literally not let you rest–by this point everyone was dancing and the people who had started the show seated were no longer near their chairs, I wasn’t even taking notes anymore, I couldn’t, I was too completely immersed in the Peachcake experience. It was back to What Year Will You Have The World… with “Stop Acting Like You Know More About The Internet Cafe Than Me” and once more it was a reminder of how far Peachcake have come in both sound and dimensions.

The best moment of the evening, for my money, was when David Jackman (The Premiere) was invited on stage to perform their brilliant new single “You Matter”, the lead off track for the EP.  Jackman is an integral part of that EP and the forthcoming album, and his vocal contribution to “You Matter” stands out distinctly on what is quickly becoming one of my favorite songs of the year–to see it performed with him live on stage was a highlight of the night. Recently, Peachcake was very proud to announce that demilitarize.org used their new song “Were We Ever Really Right?” as the theme to their Global Day of Actions on Military Spending and that song up next. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–everything Peachcake does has an overwhelming positivity to it, whether it’s the feeling of the song, the lyrics or simply the ideas they engender; they want to make the world a better place and they aren’t just trying, they are doing it, one song at a time. “Who Are These People And Why Does This Music Suck?” was the finale and the last track from the EP for the evening, closing the set with classic finesse with one of the best songs on This Wasn’t Our Plan. Of course it wasn’t the real finale, the show must go on and the crowd demanded an encore, one of course Peachcake was happily willing to give. They finished the release party with the opening track from What Year Will You Have The World… “Welcome To The Party To Save The World!” Every minute of it was brilliant and Pruett went body surfing one last time across the crowd and ran amongst his fans to classic, classy finish that left everyone, heaving, smiling and sweating.

It was an unbelievable event and even Peachcake themselves posted on facebook the next day “If you missed it, last night was the best show we’ve ever played. I’ve never felt like this after any show that we’ve had.” I’m not sure I have either. The only thing I could think as I left this amazing night at the Rhythm Room was, “Jesus, what the hell are they going to do when the full album is released.” Seriously, this was the release for the five track teaser EP for Unbelievable Souls. All I could do was smile at the possibilities and ponder if, quite possibly, Peachcake could save the world.

Be sure to download the EP for free: This Wasn’t Our Plan
And check out the download at demilitarize.org : “Were We Ever Really Right?”

All Photos By Kat Vega Copyright All rights reserved by MistrsEvilKitten

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