The Montreal-based Pale Lips kicked off Saturday’s Peach Kelli Pop-headlined show at Gabba Hey! I had no set expectations for this band since they are very new and I’d never heard their songs before, but I found it easy to get swept up in their energy. It helped that I was with friends who had never seen a punk band before and seemed to be having a good time, which really added to the experience.
Astral Gunk’s performance was when the night started to tip toward being something wild. For the second band out of four, the crowd was unusually alive. The audience’s aggressiveness only built throughout the evening, to the point that Allie Hanlon of Peach Kelli Pop (and occasional drummer for the White Wires) admitted during their set that she was a little bit scared. Astral Gunk barely gave room to breathe in between songs, immediately throwing themselves into another one of their weirdo jams just after finishing one.
As Average Times began to perform in celebration of their new LP, I was beginning to sober up and still stinging from a poorly thought-out romantic confession I’d made in between sets. However, as far as ways to recover from crushing disappointment go, there are worse ones than moshing to one of Ottawa’s best bands. “Wasted on Wine” remains the perfect minute-long party-starter and “Summer Nights” is gradually becoming one of my favourite songs of all time. Their entire performance was extremely well-received by an increasingly unhinged crowd.
I thought that the audience might settle down during Peach Kelli Pop, but my prediction couldn’t have been more wrong. They started off a performance which inspired deranged moshing and crowd-surfing by playing “Do the Eggroll,” an inarguable favourite. Another highlight was their new single, “Mindreader,” which sounded remarkably good considering they had never played it live before. Allie Hanlon and her backing band had me dancing so hard that I barely noticed the shooting pains in my foot. A week and a half earlier, I had re-injured myself after jumping from a ledge onto the Rideau Canal. As bad an idea as that was, pogoing was a worse one. Peach Kelli Pop proved themselves to be such a fun band that they can be appreciated even while coping with physical and emotional trauma. I’m not saying they’ll solve your problems, but I’m also not saying they won’t.
Actually, scratch that. I need to go to the hospital. Peach Kelli Pop are a great band nonetheless.