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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Peelander-Z invades Rialto


    Courtesty of Peelander-Z

    The colorful members of Japanese action comic punk band Peelander-Z strike a pose. The group will bring its signature energy to Hotel Congress on Thursday.

    Peelander-Z, the New York-based Japanese action comic punk band, will be making a stop on its 2015 Happee Spring Tour on Thursday at Hotel Congress.

    Peelander-Z was initially formed by Peelander-Yellow, Red and Blue after meeting in New York City in 1998. In 2008, Peelander-Blue left the ranks, and Peelander-Green joined the band taking his place, creating the contemporary face of Peelander-Z.

    Finding its start as a concept band, Peelander-Z evolved from novelty to nationwide touring sensation in its tenure.

    “They’ve become a more focused chaos, as opposed to complete chaos,” said Mike Dickinson, manager and label producer of Peelander-Z. “They’ve become touring machines. The first tour I worked with them, they did 65 shows in 60 days. They just love touring and playing for people; they’re a band full of energy. I believe they’ve played nearly every major city in America at least once.”

    Returning to Tucson on the heels of its performance at SXSW in Austin, Texas, Peelander-Z will carry its show across the nation until finally returning home to New York City in May.

    Known for playing to a wide variety of audiences, Peelander-Z band members don colorful costumes akin to the styles found in Japanese animation — strikingly reminiscent of the Power Rangers. Playing anything from children’s to adult venues, Peelander-Z maintains one mission: to have fun.

    “The appeal of Peelander-Z, for me, comes from the colorful homage to Saturday morning Japanese action shows like Kamen Rider and Power Rangers, coupled alongside the fun, high-energy punk anthems belted out by an elderly Japanese guy in a yellow bodysuit in broken English,” said Shaun Oyakawa, hip-hop disc jockey at KAMP Student Radio, “It is a fun band with a nostalgia factor that appeals to me in many ways.”

    Appearing at major music festivals, such as Bonnaroo, CMJ and SXSW, Peelander-Z draws on a unique fan base. According to Dickinson, the band has a little something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in Japanese or punk-rock culture, Peelander-Z employs a kind of undeniable intrigue attractive to all sorts.

    Peelander-Z employs grass root strategies to build on its audience, making very few waves in major marketing networks.

    “We let the band be the band, because their music speaks for itself,” Dickinson said. “They’re really their own walking marketing team, because they’re out there as Peelander-Z 24 hours a day. They have a lot of viral appeal.”

    Peelander-Z aims to take popular culture and reflect it back on itself through the band’s filter. Each show guarantees audience participation and the opportunity to perform with the band.

    “Their mission is ultimately to spread fun and happiness,” Dickinson said. “They play for people interested in having a good time. Everybody who attends the shows [has] a good time. Their message is inclusion: It doesn’t matter who you are, how old you are or even what you like. People go to be silly and have fun.”

    With songs like “S.T.E.A.K.” and “Taco Taco Tacos,” Peelander-Z offers the unique opportunity to become involved with performing musicians and cut loose.

    According to the Rialto Theatre website, Peelander-Yellow encourages the audience to “Do human bowling with us. Do limbo dancing with us. Do karaoke competition with us. Hit our cowbell with us. Don’t be shy, give us your smile! We can beat your stress! See you at our show!”

    Doors for the Peelander-Z show open at 6 p.m., and the show begins 7 p.m. on Thursday at Hotel Congress.


    Follow Elise McClain on Twitter.

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