Pop-rock duo exhibits joyful enthusiasm
People tend to do kind things for others less fortunate at this time of year. Last Thursday night, some members of local rock bands Goldmind and Peech got together at Stormy’s and put on an acoustic show to benefit the Torres Community Shelter. Admission was free, but audience members were encouraged to donate needed items like canned food, gloves, deodorant, disposable razors, socks and nail clippers.
I put my donation, a pair of bright-pink knitted mittens, into the box just inside the front door. I found myself a good place to sit and write in the fairly packed room, close to the tiny stage.
Singer-guitarist John Paul Gutierrez, representing Goldmind, finished up his passionate little opening set with a song whose politically charged lyrics asked God to bless America—all of North and Central America, not just the United States—"'cause America’s a continent, not a country…”
The two female “slices of Peech,” as they put it—singer-guitarist Megan Osborn and singer-guitarist Chelsea Dohemann—came to the stage and, after starting one song and then apologetically ditching that one partway through and beginning another ("That’s called a sound check,” the dark-haired Osborn ad-libbed. “We’ve never done an acoustic show!"), launched into a string of pop-tinged songs, all but one originals written by Osborn and Dohemann.
Both of the Peech girls can sing and play guitar (Dohemann also had her piano-playing debut on this gig), but they take turns with the guitar, passing it back and forth, depending on who’s singing lead on a particular song. Whoever sings lead doesn’t play the guitar. The other one sings harmony and plays guitar.
I liked it best when Osborn sang lead and Dohemann accompanied her on guitar and harmony vocals. Osborn’s voice is stronger and more confident and accurate than Dohemann’s (though Dohemann does have a pretty voice); Dohemann is the better guitarist. When Osborn was singing lead and Dohemann was supporting her, the songs went along pleasantly and without a hitch. When it was vice-versa, the combination of Osborn’s lapses in intonation on the guitar with Dohemann’s vocal intonation issues on the higher notes made for a few rough spots.
Friendly Peech drummer Leo Flores and lead guitarist Noah Mock joined Dohemann and Osborn at the end of the set on the appropriately titled song “Welcome Back.”
The girls of Peech remind me somewhat of popular Japanese pop-rock girl duo Puffy AmiYumi. Their girl power spirit of just getting out there and doing their thing with joy and gusto (and the occasional "error" that they gracefully work around) is admirable. Dohemann and Osborn aren’t as polished (or as loud) as Puffy AmiYumi, but perhaps their anticipated upcoming trip to record down in Los Angeles—sans the three guys who round out the band called Peech—will see them return to Chico kicking even more ass than they seem to be doing already.