I'm fascinated with Lady GaGa's rise to pop superstardom. The dance-pop diva caught everyone's attention less than a year ago by refusing to wear pants and chanting raunchy lyrics like "I wanna take a ride on your disco stick" while suggestively holding a long... light saber. She's since been hailed a provocative musician and fashion icon.
But who is Lady GaGa really other than a watered down, mainstream version of Peaches? The Berlin-based electroclash artist has been doing what GaGa does bigger and better for more than a decade now. She proved just that last night with a sexually charged 90-minute show that was one of the wildest--if not the wildest--performances the Showbox has seen this year.
Peaches opened with the rock-heavy track "Show Stopper" off her new album I Feel Cream dressed in a pink tunic and a S&M style mask. She eventually shed the tunic and mask to reveal a bizarre court jester like outfit and a bleached mullet. She looked stunning.
What's interesting is that Peaches isn't attractive at all in a conventional sense. She plays up her manly facial features and tries to look as androgynous as possible. Yet, she oozes sexiness. There's something incredibly alluring about her that I can't pinpoint exactly.
It's a look that goes well with Peaches' music, given that most of her material grapples with sexuality and gender identity uses. She provided brilliant visual aids to go along with her raunchy yet insightful set, including a light saber that she mimed giving a hand job and a blinking light that she strapped to her vagina. (I don't know what the latter was all about, but who cares? She's Peaches. She can do whatever the fuck she wants and it comes off rad.)
The entire club reeked of sweat and alcohol as fans danced widly to pulsating tracks like the coarse "Shake Yer Dix" and playful "Boys Wanna Be Her." Peaches stripped down late into the set to reveal a shiny pink leotard. She then screeched through one of my personal favorites, the raw and sexy "Kick It." (The recording features Iggy Pop on vocals and is well worth a listen.)
Peaches also treated fans to the sharp-witted dance track "Fuck the Pain Away" with which she achieved international success back in 2000. There have been countless covers of it, and I've included the hilarious YouTube parody starring Miss Piggy below.
So back to the Lady GaGa comparison. She and Peaches' live performances contain several striking similarities. The shiny leotards, the light sabers, the excessive sexual references... the difference is that GaGa twirls her saber like a baton, while Peaches jacks hers off like it's a giant penis.
GaGa cites David Bowie and Queen among her musical influences. But it's Peaches she owes her career to. And lucky for her, Peaches, whose career has spanned over 10 years, is too crazy of a bitch to be accepted by mainstream pop. Of course, what makes Peaches so damn loveable is that she could give a shit less.