peach pit: right down the street

Peach Pit

the masonic (san francisco, ca)

In the middle of their second extensive tour this year, Peach Pit brought their indie pop-rock energy to The Masonic in San Francisco, CA for their Right Down the Street Tour. Having already done a two and a half month-long tour across North America and Europe to support their latest album, From 2 to 3, in the spring, the band took the liberty of doing whatever they wanted for this tour’s setlist - opening and closing the set with covers. Blasting onto the stage shrouded in red and rapidly flashing lights, the members of Peach Pit came on with a cover of Slayer’s “Raining Blood.” It got the energy going in the most effective way possible, complete with the band’s lead singer, Neil Smith, leaping over the barricade to crowdsurf (note: only successful after a second attempt after jumping into an unprepared section of the crowd in the first).

Peach Pit is one of those bands where the energy of their studio music is not at all an accurate indicator of the energy of their live show. Their music, often described as “sad pop” and “surf rock,” would perhaps point to a calmer show, but their rock-driven guitar melodies lent itself to a rocker-style delivery on stage. The band didn’t need to be covering a thrash metal band (i.e. Slayer) to be head banging and jumping around - lead singer Neil Smith, who also is on rhythm and acoustic guitar, lead guitarist Christopher Vanderkooy, bassist Peter Wilton, drummer Mikey Pascuzzi, and touring member Dougal Bain played off of each other's energy during those instrumental interludes and outros, including finishing off “Give Up Baby Go” from From 2 to 3 with the iconic outro of The Eagles’ “Hotel California.” That being said, the nature of their music made the energy in the room rise and fall, but that only made the experience that much more dynamic.

After playing “Peach Pit” and “Black Licorice,” two fan favorites during which the crowd sang every word, the band paused to speak to the crowd. Standing in a room packed with nearly 3,000 people, Smith said, “When we first started, we just wanted to play shitty little shows with 20 people. We never thought we would be able to play shows like this.” Their three-song encore began with the upbeat “Psychics in L.A.,” which was then followed by fan favorite “Shampoo Bottles,” and closed with a cover of Dr. Hook’s 1979 song “Sharing the Night Together.” Most people learned the lyrics of the latter on the fly and sang it all together by the second chorus, ending the night with a feeling of camaraderie.

photos & review by carolyn wang