JJ’s Bohemia, as anyone who has visited the bar/venue before can attest, shines brightest when its space is fully utilized. Given the smaller, tighter floor space and proximity to the low-rise stage, there isn’t much confusion as to what this area lends itself best to: hard and fast punk rock. Yesterday, concertgoers were treated to not one but two incredible punk groups and a talented psychedelic rock band.
First on the bill was Medicine Tree, a Chattanooga-based trio whose style of rock fluttered easily between psychedelia, alternative and bluesy notes. The three of them played with a fun sort of levity that allowed them to weave in and out of one another’s playing without overlapping muddily. Still a fairly new group, the band put a lot of potential on display with their songs, and it will be interesting to see where they progress to.
The next band to perform, after a brief interlude, was The Dead Deads. A new Nashville band, The Dead Deads took the stage with tongue-in-cheek mascara X’s drawn over their eyes. The music, however, was nothing to scoff at. Through songs like “Party Pit” and “Radio,” the band whipped the crowd into a frenzy. Yet their songs were never as simple as one-chord bash fests. Rather, the band played with a fiery intensity that belied incredibly impressive technical skill. Like Medicine Tree, The Dead Deads are still a young band with incredible potential.
To describe Peelander-Z to someone is a unique endeavor because Peelander-Z is not just an ordinary punk rock band. Sure, they have songs like “Taco Taco Taco” that fit the DIY punk rock ethos, but when Peelander-Z performs, it is as much an interactive experience as it is a concert. Peelander-Z, designated by their colors, utilized the crowd to the fullest in back-and-forth chants, pulling members onstage, jumping out into the crowd and even playing human bowling with Green.
That’s only half of the equation, though, and while the band from the planet Peelander maintained an incredibly fun rapport, their music was equally driving and ferocious. The band ran through fan favorites like “S.T.E.A.K.” and “So Many Mike,” resulting in a beginning-to-end party that saw members of the opening acts roped onstage to fill in on instruments while Peelander-Z ran through the crowd with a line of rope in an impromptu limbo.
Peelander-Z is completely unique, completely wacky and completely fun. One can only hope that they make a return visit very soon.
Matthew Lewis is a music intern for Nooga.com.