REVIEW: Peach Pit, Winter, Land of Enchantment @ Great Scott 10/09

Photo by Caroline Barry
Photo by Caroline Barry

Peach Pit is four totally normal guys playing abnormally good surf rock music. They played at Great Scott in Allston, one of the tiniest venues I’ve ever attended, on Monday, Oct. 9.

The Great Scott bar television played The Hobbit while a friend and I sat through soundcheck for the hard-rocking girlband main act, Winter. Before doors opened, the four Vancouver-native Peach Pit members warmly introduced themselves. It made for a very relaxed pre-show environment.

Peach Pit play in very specific costumes: guitarist Chris Vanderkooy in a burnt orange turtleneck; Mikey Pascuzzi in a blue denim hat on the drums; bassist Pete Wilton in a loose pair of dusty overalls; and lead singer Neil Smith wearing a purple sweater over a complementary orange polo, completing the look with khakis. They have long hair and significant facial hair: a combination of young adults who appreciate vintage style and your weird relatives, nostalgic for their one favorite clothing item from decades past. It’s the same look in all of their recent promotional photos, and Neil can be found dancing his heart out in the same garb in their somewhat YouTube-viral “Seventeen” music video.

Although Peach Pit was only the second opener for The Land of Enchantment, it seemed that most of the crowd was there to see them. Their sound is friendly, with plentiful guitar and head-nodding (or full-body-dancing) rhythms. Smith’s voice is so satisfying. They played with cohesive dancing, passing around a fan’s heart-shaped sunglasses that blended perfectly into their style. The show’s setlist was made up almost entirely of songs off their new album, Being so Normal. Personal favorites of mine include “Techno Show,” dedicated to a Swedish friend’s adoration for techno music, and “Chagu’s Sideturn,” which was prefaced with an anecdote about smoking hard drugs with a strange man named Chagu in a foreign country.

This band is recognizable for a strange relationship with their fans. They refer to themselves and their fans as “daddies,” aligned with pop culture’s “sugar daddy”-“sugar baby” relationships. However, as they attended to their merch table post-performance, they showed exceptional reception to fan photos, signatures, compliments, and conversations. These guys really care for their fans, which has absolutely contributed to their growing fanbase.

As I had discovered Peach Pit’s first EP, Sweet FA, just this past summer, it was a real treat seeing these guys perform. Actual peach pits may be filled with enough arsenic to kill a human being, but this quartet is nothing but sweet.

-Caroline Barry