Feminist field general Peaches and Austin-based performance artist Christeene blessed Atlanta with an electric and visceral set at Terminal West on October 29th, and WUSSY was granted press access to provide a take-away for those of you who missed it.
Atlanta was one stop on Peaches’ massive international tour in support of her newly released LP Rub. The anticipation was palpable; every attendee (save for the WUSSY crew and a small group of blonde ladies that shocked me by screaming the words to Peaches’ “Close Up”) was dressed like a Peaches stage hand that somehow wandered into the general admission area. A third of the crowd lost their shit once Christeene hit the stage and a fifth of the crowd probably found anal really displeasing after she was done with it.
Christeene’s set was short and nothing short of glorious. When consuming her image via social media and her Vimeo channel, it’s easy to assume she’s consistently playing that cracked out lady at every corner gas station. However, when seen live, Christeene presents an aesthetic that I can only describe as Blackout-era Britney on the set of a scat film. It’s pop, but its gross—just like Peaches.
She opened her set with “Fix My Dick” and stuck her fingers in her exposed asshole at regular intervals. In between songs, she would engage the crowd with seemingly trite observations about technology and the disappearance of human engagement.
It was almost serious at certain points, that is until she performed a song whose chorus went something like this:
Dick in yo butt ho
Dick in yo butt ho
I enjoyed this track, it was an Austin weirdo’s ode to Atlanta trap celebrating the merits of taking dick on the daily. Awesome. Christeene has fucking massive stage presence and utilized the entire space to magnify this. She littered the entire floor with filth, effectively giving the stage the air of a crack house’s master bedroom. These details were the clearest indication that we were witnessing a fully realized conceptual character play in action. It was an enlightening experience.
Peaches’ set was no less entertaining and filthy than her road buddy’s.
Her set was a mixture of hits and Rub tracks, and surprisingly, Peaches has pipes. Although she sang with a backing track, her live contribution blended with it beautifully as opposed to simply leaning on its assistance. Throughout the set she worked the top of her DJ’s table and managed the controller at her feet.
She walked across the crowd leaning only on her trust of her fans, sang “Close Up” into Christeene’s ubiquitous asshole and gave us a ton of vaginal shadow thanks to a combination of strobe lights and a sheer body suit. It was perhaps the most femme punk experience I’ve ever had. Once again, seeing the artist live changes any previous perceptions a person may have about their art.
On wax, Peaches songs sound like raunchy jam-style poetry over dance music—live, every track is a feminist anthem. A lot of this effect is owed to the visual presentation she offers (go-go dancing unicorns, a giant inflatable dick, close to four costume changes, tits and ass); however, it was the opener of the show that set the mood of empowerment: Nina Simone’s “Four Women” introduced Atlanta to a woman named Peaches—if that doesn’t indicate a phenomenal woman, nothing will ever come close.
Photographs by Jon Dean