Har Mar, Peaches shock First Avenue crowd

“This is for my own pleasure only,” warned a shirtless Har Mar Superstar Saturday as he slid off his sparkly pants on stage, headlining a very strange performance at First Avenue.

Atom & His Package might have been the biggest draw of the night. The one-man band appeared to have a bigger following since his last local appearance this spring at the St. Paul Student Center. Backed by a karaoke disc of his own tunes, Atom sang witty, smart-aleck pop songs a la Weird Al Yankovic or They Might Be Giants. What separates him from the aforementioned artists is that Atom’s songs pack a lot more political punch than kitsch value. Saturday’s highlights included “If You Own the Washington Redskins, You’re A Cock,” a bouncy manifesto calling for end to American Indian nicknamed sports teams, and “Hats Off to Halford,” an ode to the former Judas Priest frontman for choosing to be openly gay in the world of heavy metal.

Taylor Saavy’s cocky performance cleared much of the floor, killing the energy and momentum built up during Atom’s set. Saavy came off as a half-baked Har Mar Superstar. The songs were boring and repetitious, consisting of a sample loop and just one line, like “I wanna be your man” or “Ladies are all that I think about,” crooned over and over and over again. Two costume changes each left him in a further state of undress, but Saavy’s attire was tame in comparison with his stage successor.

The mullet-topped, raunchy rapper Peaches was interesting to say the least. Over a bed of heavy bass, she tore through dirty jams like “AA XXX” and “Fuck the Pain Away.” By the end of her set, she had also ripped her black jeans open at the seams and shortened up her red lingerie top by several inches.

Then, with his Tony Clifton-like stage arrogance, St. Paul singer Har Mar Superstar performed a pretty typical set, cussing out the crowd between trashy, tongue-in-cheek R&B songs like “Baby, Do You Like My Clothes?” and “Wet Lovin’.” After playing out for at least a year now, Har Mar’s set, and even his banter, is starting to sound a little stale and predictable. Hopefully there’s a new batch of songs in the works that’ll be as good as the last.

Har Mar eventually topped Peaches in the skin category, leaving the stage after his encore wearing nothing but a dollar-bill-stuffed pair of Fruit of the Looms.

– Dan Haugen