It wasn’t hard to spot the members of the Vancouver, Canada-based rock band Peach Pit at the Horn Gallery on Nov. 2, even as they stood in the crowd to watch the opening band. Chris Vanderkooy, Peach Pit’s lead guitarist, was easy to pick out in a bright orange turtleneck.
What started as a joke has turned into one of Peach Pit’s defining quirks: Each band member wears the same outfit for each performance — “like cartoon characters,” said Peter Wilton, bassist (who wore his trademark overalls).
The fun color combinations and youthful flair also apply to the themes of their music. Their first album, Being So Normal, was released this September and plays with ideas of fitting in socially.
Peach Pit’s songs are about high school heartbreaks and flakey friends, while all navigating the tumultuous terrain of other relationships that have followed them into their twenties.
Vanderkooy and Peter Wilton have known each other since preschool Vanderkooy and Neil Smith, the lead singer, met in high school and did not meet again until years later at a music festival where they also found their drummer, Mike Pascuzzi.
Their first EP, Sweet FA, garnered significant attention on YouTube and established themselves as figures to look out for in the indie scene.
After narrowly losing a battle of a bands in Vancouver to a group more focused on their appearances than their music (who only played six minutes of their 30-minute requirement, while alternating between two chords and neglecting to use a drum kit they brought on-stage, according to Peach Pit), the feedback they received from the judges was disappointing.
“One of the negative critiques was, ‘Being so normal,’ and I was like, ‘What does that even mean?’” Smith said.
This question focused the band, the critique being the namesake of their debut album.
The band came to Gambier as one of the many stops in their 12-show tour. The tour began promptly after their two-day visit home, following their 22-show tour. While this meant hours on the road, smaller shows like Kenyon’s were still worthwhile.
“If … there were a couple people who knew some words, that just made it awesome; it didn’t matter how many people were there, like the fact that there were … people singing along was super cool,” Smith said. Wilton chimed in, “When you realize that you’re making a connection for just a couple people in the room, it makes it special.”
“For me, personally, it’s just seeing everybody air drumming,” joked drummer Pascuzzi, “but that’s not happened yet.”
The show was not packed, but the band and the audience were enthusiastic. A few students from Denison University made it to the performance.
Peach Pit played with energy, and added small quips, making the space that much more intimate. They started off the night with their hyped-up hit “Drop the Guillotine” and ended with the more mellow “Tommy’s Party.”
The Kenyon-based band Mitch — made up of Grace Fuisz ’19, Jeb Backe ’19, Antoinette Steely ’19 and Jake Zeisel ’19 — opened Peach Pit’s show.
Along with touring through Europe this winter, Peach Pit will be playing at the SXSW Music Festival in Austin, Texas.