Where’s Peaches? Where’s Peaches? What started out as a mysterious whisper on the Sky Yard of the Drake Hotel last Friday night turned into a commanding shout from a biker chick in the middle of the crowd.

After 10 days of film premieres, glitz and glam that fittingly also started out at the Drake Hotel with Overdrive TIFF launch party, we were treated to a thrilling ride through 3 floors, with the star of the show being none other than outrageous performance artist & musician Peaches. Crowds were herded by security from the Sky Yard down to the main floor, stopping to stun nearby diners while an aged American-flag-clad stripper waved a black dildo in everyone’s faces. Hopefully they had been warned…

Peaches made her grand entrance popping up into the crowd dressed like an 80s astronaut, making way to the Raised Lounge stage on the shoulders of Danni Daniels, a hot, naked, tattooed genderless diva wearing hardly anything but black mesh and cat eyeliner. The crowd once again rushed to try and get a good spot for the next performance, which featured an electrical HARP MADE OF LAZERS (!!!) played by Peaches and her band Sweet Machine. You can try and wrap your mind around that with a little help from a video shot from my trusty iPhoneBackup dancers go-go’d around stage and you could see the silhouettes of desperate fans standing on the street outside, trying to get a peek in (apparently it was at capacity way early in the night).

Then, another rush to get down to the Drake Underground ahead of the crowds! Before Peaches came back onstage, post-rock band the Jolly Goods played their best melodies in chiffon party dresses and sweaty grunge hair. Peaches’ new rock-umentary Peaches Does Herself, which debuted at this year’s TIFF, featured the mature woman who was waving a dildo at diners earlier on, and she was back for more performance than most would want to know about. Sandy Kane aka The Naked Cowgirl sang vulgar country western songs, stripped down a little further and then announced she wanted to light her tits on fire. I was at the same time horrified and curious. Turns out she has a shtick of sticking matches into her nipples and lighting them, with audience members taking a turn. Now that’s a way to age gracefully!

At long last Peaches takes back the mic and the electro beats start pumping again. Peaches announces “Time to stop watching and time to start dancing!” Knowing Toronto, about 30% of the crowd started bouncing around. She is a captivating, awesome performer and witnessing this mishmash of a concert will live on as a you-had-to-be-there memory. A wild entourage plus some adventurous dancers in the crowd start taking over the stage, and it went from there for the rest of the night (iPhone video proof # 2). The Drake Underground felt transformed into a New York discotech in the 80’s. Well done, Peaches, you did The Drake, you did yourself, and you certainly mind-fucked the crowd a whole lot.

~ Becca Lemire

Photos by Becca Lemire (Click to Enlarge)