Peelander-Z and Anamanaguchi Bring Superhero and 8-Bit Fun to the Roxy
See more photos in Shannon Cottrell's slideshow "Peelander-Z, Anamanaguchi @ The Roxy." Read more about Anamanaguchi in Liz Ohanesian's post, "Anamanaguchi's Peter Berkman Shares His Top 3 Influences: Tim and Eric, Japanese Music and Video Games."
Shannon Cottrell Peelander-Red plays on top of the crowd
We noticed that last night, when the two New York bands stopped by The Roxy as part of a nationwide tour that began a few weeks ago at South by Southwest. We were standing in a long line right in front of a group of Anamanaguchi and Peelander-Z fans that included local DJ Leett (Tune in Tokyo) and musician/DJ Tommy Pedrini (International Pop Conspiracy). Following in the footsteps of Peelander-Z and, possibly, The Power Rangers, they dressed in monochromatic fashion-- Leett in green, Tommy in white and other friends in pink, red and blue. Anamanaguchi's Peter Berkman ran down the backstage stairs and snapped a photo. Shortly thereafter, Peelander-Yellow stopped by to have his picture taken with the group.
This wasn't one of those shows, though, where everyone was dressed for the occasion. (We certainly weren't.) Despite their status as New Yorkers, Anamanaguchi and Peelander-Z played as part of a KROQ Locals Only gig at the Sunset Strip club. They also played early. Anamanaguchi was scheduled for an 8:45 start time. Peelander-Z followed. Regardless, the out-of-town guests drew a sizable crowd that crammed up towards the front of the stage, singing along with pre-recorded Green Day as "Basket Case" filtered through the club while they waited for the bands to appear.
Shannon Cottrell Goofing off for the camera with Peelander-Yellow
Anamanaguchi has a wonderful way of controlling the stage. They're a band without a singer, working through one 8-bit rock instrumental track after the next with a sense of youthfulness and joy that resonated with the crowd. They write songs about riding skateboards and bounce about the stage as though they're traveling through the Mushroom Kingdom.
Their fans are young. We have our doubts that many in the crowd were old enough to have had a 1985 NES, like the one used to aid Anamanaguchi's songs. Maybe because of that, they brought a great energy to the show. In front of the stage, it felt like we were surrounded by nothing but pure happiness.
Shannon Cottrell Anamanaguchi