By CRAIG HAMMONS
Peelander Z, interplanetary purveyors of everything fun, happy, and crazy have landed on earth to make it make a better place and to put a smile on our face, so they say.
They came all the way from the “Z” area of planet Peelander to embark on a tour in support of their new documentary “Mad Tiger.” They touched down in Santa Ana at The Frida Theatre to put us under their spell for 90 minutes of all around insanity and foolish behavior.
Opening the evening was one of my personal favorites The Radioactive Chicken Heads. These punks of poultry contaminated us with their songs and on stage antics. I was clucking right along by the second song “Atom the Amazing Zombie Killer”. They had a guest appearance from Chuck E Cheese during a song called “Pest Control” and visit from an evil bunny on “Bad Bunny”. These mutant birds of madness were the perfect fit for what was about to come.
After a short intermission and the trailer for “Mad Tiger” Peelander Z was ready for their invasion. Peelander Yellow immediately gathered the audience from the back and sides and brought them down front to be as close to the stage as possible. It was not an option not to be part of this show. Once they started we realized there was no escape as we were all under the spell of Peelander Z. In the next hour or so I witnessed more intense audience participation than the Price is Right.
Each band member is color coded and each seem to have different power and energy. The ringmaster Peelander Yellow shares his energy with the band and the audience and believe me we felt it. They ran thru all their hits like “Mad Tiger” which had us all banging on pots and pans that were distributed to the audience. We all got a workout during the bands punk rock take on “Old MacDonald” called “E-I-E-I-O” where Peelander Yellow jumped up on the PA and lead us all in singing and waiving our arms around like we were all in an alien aerobics class.
He sang a song about one of his favorite foods “Taco, Taco, Tacos.” Before I could catch my breath a long rope was spread across the seats and the whole theatre was doing the limbo. Peelander Yellow, Green and Purple all change costumes (they call it their skin) and even dress the audience up in monster outfits and headdresses. Their message is to spread happiness thru their songs and their energy.
As I looked around all I could see were happy faces all fully engaged in this sonic madness. Before every song a sign is held up with the song title on it. At one point a sign was held up that read “Need new guitar player” and just then Peelander Yellow took off his guitar and strapped it on to some young dude in the front who started jamming, later the bass player and drummer were replaced by audience members.
The band became the audience and the audience became the band. This gave the band time to do some Human Bowling. They set up bowling pins and flung themselves into them. Peelander Yellow was then crowd surfing all the way to the back of the theatre. By the time all was said and done we were all sweating, happy and blown away. Tonight was a rare occasion where the entire family can rock out and have a good time.
Peelander Z conquered the Frida in this unbelievable inter active rock and roll show. I never had so much fun as I felt like I was one of them. This was a night of high energy rock and roll from these rockers from another planet. Let’s hope Peelander Z stays here on Earth for a long time.
The following night we came back for the screening of “Mad Tiger” a documentary that follows the relationship between Peelander Yellow and Red. They have been best friends, business partners and band mates for over 15 years. When Red decides to quit, their relationship is tested by life that goes beyond the band. It is a look into what the band was and has become. It comes down to friendships, foregiveness and the sacrifices people have to make for their art.
“Taco Taco Tacos” video courtesy of Zack Oberlander