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Words: Sue Static. Photos: Peter Schorn

Peelander-Z landed in Detroit on Tuesday night, bringing their Japanese action comic punk show to the enthusiastic crowd that ventured out on a rainy "school night" to attend. Opening the show was local band Pupils, who unfortunately I was not able to see, but from the music I heard on their website, I will definitely be checking the band out soon.
Electric Eel Shock – also from Japan – played second. I've been familiar with this band for quite awhile and this was my first time seeing them live, even though it was their third Detroit-area appearance. The loud and powerful metal-meets-punk trio didn't disappoint. They let the audience know their fondness for metal by playing riffs from AC/DC's "Back in Black" and giving the devil horns salute throughout their set. The crowd however, was torn between watching them and watching the end of the Tigers third championship game-which they won-bringing some sports fans into the club who surprisingly got into the show when Peelander-Z commanded the stage. How could they not?

I have been a Peelander-Z fan for twelve years now and this was my eighth time seeing the band in concert. Their chaotic stage theatrics and punk music make for a fun show that always brings a smile. When the band "land" onstage, the audience doesn't quite know what to expect as they see the anime-costumed characters tune their instruments. Even though I know what's in store, it is always fun to watch newbies discover this band and join in the mayhem.

At a typical Peelander-Z show one can expect much audience participation including sing-a-longs, audience jam sessions, and other assorted chaos which I won't divulge as to not spoil the surprise. On this show, one of the audience members selected to jam onstage was none other than noted local producer/guitarist Jim Diamond, who provided the riffs while Peelander Yellow wrestled in the crowd and indulged in some human bowling.

Peelander-Z members are often found cavorting with the audience, surfing thru the crowd, climbing the speakers, or hanging from the clubs' ceiling as was attempted by Peelander Red tonight much to the soundman's protests.

Always entertaining, Peelander-Z left the crowd with smiles on their faces cheering for more.

The band's inception was in 1998 and along with other Japanese bands Electric Eel Shock and The Spunks, who also moved here and formed a base in Brooklyn, New York to bring their Japunk music to the U.S. masses.

Peelander-Z's latest release is their eighth album, "Space Vacation," which is available on Chicken Ranch Records. Make sure to check out their website and definitely check out their show next time they are in town!