With the return of in-person concerts still a ways away, artists are finding increasingly creative methods to ensure fans can still immerse themselves in something similar to a live concert experience. After not performing for seven months, indie band Peach Pit took the stage at the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver Sept. 17, effectively engaging fans behind screens with a fully live show.
Viewers were able to explore the various interactive features the “Live From Inside” website had to offer, including a chat function, leaderboard for most interactive fans and two cameras to switch between: one moving and one close-up, angled upward at the stage.
The stage view camera was a clever feature, positioned perfectly as to mimic being right up against the rails at the front of the venue, swirling spotlights right in fans’ eyes. If viewers streamed the show in the dark and turned their speaker volume all the way up, they’d feel as if they were actually in the venue. If fans wanted to switch between the two views, however, they would miss parts of the set — fans fared better sticking with one view or the other.
The band kicked off the set with “Brian’s Movie” and “Feelin’ Low (F*ckboy Blues),” establishing a gentle, upbeat tone. The dark lighting served as an ethereal backdrop fitting for both songs, which featured melodic vocals and satisfying, organic guitar solos.
Lead singer Neil Smith cheered as if to engage the audience, jokingly saying, “There’s so many people here, I can almost count everyone in this room.” All that followed his quip was an echoing silence, unfortunately.
The show featured wholesome banter between band members, occasionally addressing those watching. Smith updated fans on what the band has been up to during quarantine, such as growing new chest hair and bassist Peter Wilton getting married. Smith also asked fans to keep track of whoever made the most mistakes, saying the member who hit the greatest number of wrong notes had to buy everyone in the band lunch later.
Peach Pit played multiple songs from its 2017 album, Being So Normal, including “Techno Show,” a feel-good track showcasing deep instrumentals juxtaposed with guitarist Christopher Vanderkooy’s bright Telecaster sound. Every now and then, an option to make noise popped up in place of cheering, where fans could tap a button as fast as they could to get leaderboard points.
Continuing with older tracks, the band played its namesake song, “Peach Pit,” Smith’s vocal inflection softening for the performance. Backing vocals perfectly synced with Smith’s, mesmerizing those watching. The transition straight from “Peach Pit” to “Black Licorice,” was incredibly smooth, one fan even referring to the mashup as “mosh-worthy.” The plucky guitar gave way to the signature cascading fuzz of “Being so Normal,” flowing naturally from riff to solo to slow bass line for “Alrighty Aphrodite.”
Unexpectedly, the band launched into “Private Presley,” a beautiful, emotional song that isn’t usually played during its live sets. The dreamy quality and tight, marching drums built up slowly but surely to a soulful, magical guitar solo.
Smith announced that a deluxe version of You and Your Friends will be released Oct. 2. This iteration features three new songs, including live staple “Psychics in L.A,,” which the band played to fans’ delight.
The last song, “Seventeen,” was yet another surprising but welcome twist. An upbeat, youthful tune, the performance was anything but a dull ending to an ultimately satisfying show.
Peach Pit’s well-executed show simply felt like the band was jamming in its garage, blending slow and upbeat songs well, each with the band’s charismatic, relaxed tone. The guitar work was also top-notch — a refreshing break from much other guitar-based music’s lack of chord variety and riff switch-ups.
What set Peach Pit’s show apart from other livestreams were the interactive elements — truly fun ways to keep fans engaged and provide an outlet for the energy, excitement and genuine happiness everyone misses feeling from within concert venues.