Vancouver gets a mouthful of Peaches at the Commodore Ballroom


Last Wednesday, Peaches returned to the Commodore Ballroom for the second time in 357 days. Still on the promotional docket was her latest album Rub, and judging by the reaction the Vancouver crowd gave her, they were still feeling it.

Opener Quay Dash walked in as a relative unknown, but the Bronx rapper definitely left with more eyes on her than when she entered.

“Are y’all ready for some raw, exquisite shit!?” After only one song, a stranger leaned in, enthusiastically asked me if I knew the opener’s name, and after I gave the answer continued dancing.

Luckily for this stranger and everyone else whose eyes Quay Dash opened with her white-hot raps, they had a fresh EP to look up when they got home; Dash released her debut EP Transphobic a week-and-half before the show, a work that details her various experiences as a transgender woman.

Dash got the floor bouncing, but that was only a warm-up for Peaches who was every bit the stage show one would expect.

She kicked off her discography-spanning set with the deep bass rumble of her latest title-track then moved into the dirty electro of her early days with “Operate”.

Two songs in, she already changed costumes, the first of many, sometimes twice in one song. She unzipped her shaggy bodysuit to reveal nothing but a multi-breasted top and an underwear bottom that boasted an enormous bulge, all flesh-toned. And because the song was “Vaginoplasty”, she was flanked by dancers, one female and one male, who were dressed as vaginas.

The dancers had nearly just as many costume changes, from surgical masks to spiky bondage gear in which they were chained at the wrists to being tits out in harnesses that glowed orange in the dark.

“Vancouver! I would like to walk on you! Are you ready for me!?” Peaches asked following “Pickles”.

The audience’s hands reached up, and she walked on them like Jesus on water.

She walked on them again later, this time from inside a giant, transparent, inflatable dick, a literal prop for “Dick in the Air”.

All of the outfit changes, props, simulated sex, and other antics were fun, but musically, one of the best moments came when blood red lights drenched the stage, completely changing the mood during “Free Drink Ticket”. The gripping, menacing song from Rub is one of her best, and the crowd cheered after every snarling, take-no-shit-and-throw-it-back-in-your-face line.

Unsurprisingly, Peaches’ best-known song “Fuck the Pain Away” ignited the crowd. “Vancouver, this is a CANADIAN CLASSIC!” she brazenly declared mid-song before hosing the crowd with two bottles of champagne and pouring fans in the front row mouthfuls of bubbly. 

For her encore, she sang “Light in Places” in pure darkness save for the strobe lights attached to the fronts and backs of her dancers’ crotches.

Most headlining sets at the Commodore run an-hour-and-a-half to two hours, but Peaches only needed one to give the crowd their money’s worth. With barely any downtime between songs and always some costume or act to look at, Peaches was action-packed, consistent in energy, and always punk as fuck.

Leslie Ken Chu

Leslie Ken Chu