An Essay on the Peelander-Z Concert at Anime Central

Photo by Ryota Mori. Peelander Rainbow!
Photo by Ryota Mori. Peelander Rainbow!

S.T.E.A.K music video

Kaiju Big Battel Song Music Video

Mad Tiger Video

Human Bowling

Peelander-Z at ACEN singing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" in Japanese

PEELANDER IS FUN!!!

Peelander-Z played ACEN 2008 at Hyatt Regency O'Hare and Donald E. Stephens Convention Center near Chicago IL. This was my first time coming to an Anime convention that big. I was impressed with everything. The cosplayers, the vendors selling cool stuff, the discussion panels, and just the general feel were overwhelming and fantastic. I will definitely go next year around. What truly impressed me was the concert shows at ACEN. Halcali played and they were good as expected because I was already a fan. But the real best thing I took away from that convention was Peelander-Z. I love punk music but I never been to a punk show. Peelander-Z was it and than some. Peelander-Z’s crazy antics, rocking music, and crowd involvement make it an awesome show!

Here is a quick bio on the band for people that never heard of them. Peelander-Z hails from the Z area of planet Peelander, or so they say. Actually they formed in 1998 out of NYC by Peelander Yellow (Kengo Hioki), Peelander Red (Kotaro Tsukada), and Peelander Blue (Kazuki Yamamoto). They are joined by Peelander Pink and new member Peelander Green. P-Yellow plays lead guitar and lead vocals. P-Red plays bass and backup vocals. P-Blue plays the drums and P-Pink and P-Green do many things. They play punk music with Japanese words. They also wear color-coordinated costumes (which they claim is their skin!) that look like they came out of a Power Rangers show, Super Sentai in Japan. They also are big fan of Lucha Libre Wrestling and incorporate it in their acts. Sometimes they were kimonos, Luchadores masks, rubber color coordinated wigs, or whatever other props they have in their arsenal. Their music is punk which is bare bones rock that is fast and hard. It can be slow and grinding as well, which is cool too! They do a lot of stunts as they play their songs. For example, they set up bowling pins and throw each other into them. Now that’s entertainment. All these things are done for the sake of FUN! They do anime conventions but also appear in other places. They appeared in the Bonnaroo Music Festival, CMJ and SXSW. They also appeared on TV! TV shows that they have been on were Best Week Ever, Upright Citizens Brigade and MXC: Most Extreme Challenge. They even appeared on Anime Network! Go to their website to find tour dates near your hometown!

Now back to the concert. I attended half of the Friday and the full one on Saturday. I was shocked when we entered the Hyatt building on Friday. I could hear music emanating throughout the hall area. We made it to the door and the music blasted my mind. It was a sight to see. All these colorful men running around the floor while people from the crowd were playing their instruments while on stage. I thought it would be the other way around but it was mesmerizing. On Saturday, I made sure to come early so I could see their entire act. We were on the floor as they played all of their songs. It was so much better than I had expected their show to be. The real reason I came to the concerts was to watch Halcali but on the second day, it was Peelander-Z that I wanted to see (hey that rhymed!)

Here are the reasons why you should go to a Peelander-Z show.

The music is freaking awesome. I am a big fan of Punk music. So when I heard them play Mad Tiger, I was hooked on them. The songs are amazing. The ones that I heard at the concert were Mad Tiger, Y.Y.Y, Me Gusta Lucha Libre, Super Health, and STEAK from what I can recall. Another song I liked that they didn’t play was off their DVD. It was called Kaiju Big Battel Song. They played this song on their DVD for a Kaiju Big Battle show! There are many that I liked, you need to hear some because it’s difficult for me to describe music. So I posted some video with their music on it. Enjoy!

Their costumes are too great for words. As I mentioned before, they wear color-coordinated clothes that make a them look like Power Rangers. This is of course is to make fun of Super Sentai TV and movies. There were also videos of them having masks that covered their entire face and they did those ridiculous poses that the Power Rangers did. This I think is really funny. It makes them look more cartoonish and more loveable in my eyes anyway. When they were playing the song Mad Tiger at the show, they broke out some cool Lucha Libre masks of tigers. It was awesome that they get in deep with the music. I’ve seen them on stage on clips that they sometimes don M@M costumes in their own very color. The Playmobil rubber wigs make them look cool but funny at the same time. P-Blue wears a big boa scarf around his neck with wrestling belts around his waste. P-Yellow wears yellow helmets, goggles, and plays a yellow guitar! I’ve seen him in video were he’s dressed up in a cheerleaders uniform and it was completed with a blonde pigtailed wig, so funny!!! P-Red plays a red base guitar and sometimes wears dragon wings on his back. P-Pink wears the full costume with mask and all. I’ve seen her on video clips wear a bowling pin outfit as well. P-Green wears like a green Kato mask and green cowboy hat. All in all, their costumes differ from show to show but it’s much appreciated by me and the fans.

The props they use make the shows memorable. They have a wide array of props they use. When its time for people to come on stage, they give them really cool stuff. They give the fans metal object to bang on with spoons and whatnot. This is to the beat of the song they are playing. They also have a Peelander-Z flag that they wave around to get the crowd pumped. They also have sparkly confetti to shower the fans below. Sometimes P-Yellow will pull out a hammer and bonk people on the head. He says is for good luck but its funny nonetheless. P-Blue has huge drum stick that he bangs on the cymbals as he jumps down on them. The most important props that they use are the hand made signs they use to announce songs. For example, for the song Super Health has one side of the sign ask “What a Health”. The crowd shouts as he turns the sign over with “Super Health!!” written on the sign. Another favorite of mines is when they play Steak. P-Yellow asks “How do you like your Steak?” The crowd shouts as the sign is pulled out “Medium Rare!” It more like “Meeeddddiiiiuuuummmm rrrraaaarrreeee”. It always makes the fans rabid. I think the best one is at the end of the show. P-Blue pulls out a sign saying “Buy DVD” or Buy CD”. What cracks us up is when he turns the sign over and it says “For your Mother!” Classic! Oh and one more thought. If you go to a Peelander-Z concert Please and I DO MEAN PLEASE DON’T STEAL THEIR PROPS. It has happen before and that sucks! Go buy a CD for your mother instead of stealing their cool stuff. That ain’t cool.

The funny humor of Peelander-Z is awesome. Of course their costumes are funny but how they act is funny too! I remember at the concert that P-Yellow has a nasty habit of picking his nose. He picks it and rubs it on himself, his guitar, or anyone near him. No wonder his suit is so yellow! Really funny! They crack jokes all the time. For instance, when they were about to play their song Y.Y.Y at the concert, P-Yellow had something to say. He asked the crowd “Why do you like anime?” And goes on to say “Why, Why, Why? Why, Why, Why?” or more like “Y.Y.Y? Y.Y.Y.?” How awesome is that? There were people that cosplayed as Peelander-Z (check out my pictures to see!) Well Peelander-Z thought it was awesome and invited them on stage. They was a little hesitation but P-Yellow and encouraging words. “It’s ok, im your father!” or “Its ok everyone, they are my children!” It was even greater when they were in the exhibit area of the convention. P-Yellow has a tooth missing (I’m guessing for comedic effect) and would stick a whistle between the gap. He would than go around and whistle between his teeth as he tried to get the attention of people. Very funny! I watched them as they pulled people to their booth, make fun of people’s costumes (in a funny and no way mean spirited way) and bother Halcali in the other both behind them. Halcali, for people wondering, are a JPOP band from Japan. I’m a big fan of Halcali because they are so great. So it was a kick to see them interact. As I was waiting in line to get a Halcali photo and autograph, I could see P-Yellow stare at the long line. He would say “We love Halcali!” and jump around and clap and sing their songs. He went down the line and yelled “Halcali!!!” and gave high fives to everyone in line. Another great moment was when Halcali finished signing stuff and Peelander-Z got them to pose for the camera. Haruka and Yucari, both members of Halcali, squatted down to take pictures while Peelander-Z were behind. P-Yellow would shout “Take a picture for your GRANDMOTHER! YAAAAAA!!!!” Even Halcali got into the act by doing P-Yellow signature move of sticking their finger in their noses! It was fantastic!!! Sadly and lamenting-ly my camera died while they were doing this. As I fixed the problems by replacing the batteries they had finished. SO sad…… Anyways, there were too many funny things to list. These were the more memorable ones i've seen but I know they are funny at every show. Interested in seeing them already???

Now for the meat and potato’s of why they are so great (or should have I said S.T.E.A.K and potatoes). The absolute greatest reason is their show. They have so many things that go on their shows. I will try to list as many as possible. During that ACEN concert, they would ask people to get on stage. I didn't go on but I enjoyed it nonetheless. They would let people play their instruments on certain songs. They would those signs up and it would say "Drummer Needed" or "Bassist Needed" and the fans would go nuts. They would raise their hands and shout to be picked. This is done while Peelander-Z looked for a worthy candidate. They would pick someone out of the crowd and hand them their instrument! They would give them a quick tutorial on how to play the song. They would get big thumbs up if they could follow the beat. They usually did this to go off the stage and perform a stunt. One of their more famous stunts would be the bowling stunt. Peelander-Red and Blue would have a pretend wrestling match against Peelander-Yellow. P-Red would set up pins on the stage floor, after asking the crowd to split down the middle of course, and begin the show. P-Blue would grab a blue folding chair as P-Red held P-Yellow in place. So P-Blue would do a running jump and slams the chair into P-Yellow's head. Of course the folding chair had a cushion and P-Yellow would wear a helmet so no one got hurt. On videos, I've seen P-Blue slam P-Yellow multiple times before he went down with a real hard folding chair, so cool! Anyways, after P-Yellow fell, P-Red would grab a twitching P-Yellow and take him to the far end of the area. P-Blue would hold up a sign that said "Let's Bowl" P-Red would ready P-Yellow and charge at the pins and throw P-Yellow. While still running, P-Yellow usually got away from the first attempt with comedic effect. He would either slide on his knees and into the arms of a fan or run away entirely. P-Red would see these shananigans and fetch P-Yellow once more. This time he would get it right. P-Blue would bull out the smallest tricycle you can find. The raises it over his head and jumps off the stage to hit P-Yellow in the head again. This time, P-Yellow is in a daze and in pain. P-Red takes the tricycle and sits P-Yellow on the tricycle. This time he pushes him right into the pin for a STRIKE! This happens as the fans are playing their instruments so it’s a grand sight. Of course, no one gets hurt during this act.

Another thing they do is stage dive into the fans. I’ve seen all of them take turns fan surfing at the concert. P-Yellow and Red would stage dive while they were still playing their wireless guitars. So they are riding the fans hands as they rock out! P-Green would stage dive and get tossed around everywhere as he wears a green M@M suit! The best one, I think, was Peelander Blue. He would take out a make shift board (I think it was the sign holder bag) and place it on the hands of awaiting fans. He would than jump on the board and land on his belly. With a scuba mask and snorkel, he would pretend swim as the crowd passed him around. The best part of that bit was he asked the fans to hold him still. To out amazement, he jumped on his feet and stood on the freakin board!!! We were all shocked and amazed. A little worried too because he almost fell of it. When he was done, he went back on his belly and "swam" back to the stage. How freakin awesome I kept saying to myself. There was also a time when they bought out a drum in the middle of the crowd. They than began to run around and beat on it as if it was a war drum. Another cool thing they did was to take out a jump rope in the middle of the stage and P-Yellow and Red would skip as they played. Another time they broke out the same jump rope and hand a limbo contest in the middle of the crowd. The champion would be the one who could go the lowest. They also love to do conga lines. There are also times when they jump off things and play while they are given a piggy back ride. There are too many to list but oh so good. The final song they would play is called the Happee Pee song. They have a dance to go with it and everything. They ask people to come up and dance with them. It finishes with a sit down and a leap into the air with your hands in the air.

At the end there was ample time to get autographs and merchandise. I was there all three days and the signed stuff all three days. They took photographs and signed autographs for hours on end. They were so nice to take multiple photographs. They didn’t care and that was awesome in my book. Bands that do so much for their fans are people that win my respect. The merchandise was pretty cool and funny too. There were posters, CDs. DVDs, T-shirts, stickers, pillows, and small bags. It is funny because all of the pillows and small bags have their face and corresponding color. I liked Peelander Yellow's bag because it had a tooth missing in it's smile! Me and my girlfriend bought all the Peelander-Z bags and took a picture of it. The even signed the backs of the little bags too! I bought a T shirt, the DVD, and two posters. I had them signed a poster and the DVD. By the way, the DVD is awesome. It has so much fun stuff that will bring back memories of the time you went to see them. At least that is how I felt about it. I think that it’s wonderful when they have so much interaction with the fans. They are humble and that to me is fantastic. I have pictures of them at their time at ACEN. Follow the links and enjoy.

In conclusion, Peelander-Z is a great show to go to. Go and be blown away by the songs and show. I dare you not to like it. I am a believer and so can you! They are hardworking people and just down right cool! They are the biggest band on this planet! After all, Peelander is FUN!!!!

Happee Pee Song and Dance

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