Who: Peach Pit
Where: History, Toronto
When: Fri., April 8
Vibe: From surf pop music to hot venue temperatures, this Pacific Northwest group brings the much-desired summer vibes to a chilly Toronto.
Highlight: A literal child playing the drums — the crowd goes wild!
Next: MacEwan Hall, Calgary, Wed., April 20; Commodore Ballroom, Vancouver, Sun., April 24 & Mon., April 25
It pleases me greatly that the first splash of colour I see at Peach Pit’s sold-out Toronto show is, in fact, peach. It’s the soft orange-pink hair dye of a fan standing outside of History, the city’s flashy new east end venue. The guest is pulling up tickets on their phone while their turquoise-haired friend checks in with security. I follow them into the packed concert hall, and inside is an even greater rainbow. A sea of silk dresses with knee-high boots, colourful plaid shirts and several pink face masks, the crowd is an eclectic mix that matches the Vancouver indie rock band perfectly.
Peach Pit are on a North American tour to support their newest album, From 2 to 3. The Canadian boys have a long history with Toronto, having bounced from The Horseshoe Tavern to Axis Club over the years. Tonight is their biggest headline show to date — not just in Toronto but ever. The fact that it’s a Friday night is an extra special treat. The venue is blasting ’80s hits while fans down tequila shots — they’re here and they’re ready to party!
I claim my spot house left as the band’s tech team preps the stage. The room is hot and hazy, a light smoke mixing with the smell of Blondie’s Pizza being sold at the bar. The room positively erupts as the lights cut out and the west coast foursome run out. They open with Brian’s Movie and their dreamy, surf rock riffs set the tone for the rest of the evening. Lead singer and rhythm guitarist Neil Smith introduces tracks that are about “doing acid” and “going to the club,” so we know Peach Pit simply wants everyone to have a good time — and that they do.
The band knock out one hit after another, like Shampoo Bottles and Alrighty Aphrodite, their shimmering guitars blending the tracks together. Everyone on stage hops around, swinging their hair back and forth, and it’s impossible not to bop around with them. I watch a couple break away from the crowd to find an empty space to dance in. They dip and twirl and it’s joyful and endearing.
The highlight of the evening is the guest appearance of a child on drums. The band excitedly introduce their producer Robbie Lackritz, who worked on From 2 to 3 with Peach Pit via Zoom. Lackritz’s son, Leo, steals the show by joining the band to play Up Granville. The audience chants Leo’s name as they set up his little drum kit and explodes when he completely crushes his performance. This kid is going places, and we all have the honour of attending his first major performance.
As Smith proclaims, the night is “Dope as hell!” It’s the perfect upbeat start to the weekend, and Peach Pit will keep the good times rolling in Calgary and Vancouver later this month.