Australia’s Peking Duk Lands in North America for New Tour
By Lauren Johnson
Last week Peking Duk kicked off their North American tour at the Highline Ballroom for an epic show that got an excited crowd to move their feet and “get sweaty.” Rocking an electric set that included some of their biggest hits – including “Wasted,” “Say My Name,” and their newest hit, “Fire” – Peking Duk played one of those rare, amazing shows where time flies by and before you know it, the night is over, leaving you wishing for more. The electronic music duo made up of DJs and producers Adam Hyde and Reuben Styles have been making music together for over 15 years. The pair met at a skate park at their hometown of Canberra, Australia in what was allegedly a “love triangle” where we “quickly cut the girl.”
Despite the unusual circumstances in which they met, Adam and Reuben became fast friends – though they didn’t start making music for about seven years after their initial meeting. Peking Duk officially formed eight years ago, in 2010. “We’d been doing stuff like playing around at school, I was in a bunch of rock bands, Adam was in a few hip hop crews, but we also loved experimenting on terrible programs like Garage Band, ” Reuben shared in an exclusive interview with Hedonist/Shedonist.
The band has certainly come a long way from their Garage Band days, collaborating with artists such as Icona Pop and receiving seals of approval form the likes of Tiësto and Steve Aoki. After honing their craft and building up a huge following in Australia – some of their music videos have reached millions of views, and their latest single “Fire” hit #11 on the iTunes Charts – Peking Duk went on to play at the State of Origin Rugby League match on June 6 in front of 90,000 people live, with a TV audience of over 4 million. “State of Origin, it’s actually the biggest rugby league match in the world. So people in France, South Africa, England New Zealand, they’re watching as well. Even though it’s just a battle between two states of Australia,” Reuben said. “It was a real privilege to be able to play that for sure,” Adam added.
The duo then described how even though the stadium is huge, the performance itself felt intimate. “We didn’t tell the audience to put their phone lights on until the last song, so we didn’t know how may people were there,” Reuben explained. “We couldn’t see because they made it pitch black, and because our in-ear monitors were full-dry, no reverb or anything, it just made it sound like we were playing in a small [room], it just blocked everything. It was so intimate and we only had like 100 people or so in front of us in the mosh pit, so it genuinely felt like an intimate show. And as soon as we were like ‘Can everyone put their phone lights on?’ we were just like…holy shit. It was a bit of a psyche out, we almost couldn’t play, when those lights turned on. And then we remembered how many people were watching from home…But we survived,” the duo laughed.
After “surviving” what surely must have been an epic event, Peking Duk made the long flight across the globe and landed in New York City, where they kicked off the first night of their North American tour. They played hit after hit, taking turns featuring incredibly talented and energetic vocalists Michaela Baranov and Coyle Girelli.
Show highlights included a seemingly-random, over-the-top audience singalong to “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion, as well as Peking Duk’s epic rendition of Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes.
If you haven’t seen Peking Duk perform a live show yet, you’re missing out. Catch them in North America before they fly away – and be sure to keep up with Peking Duk by following them on Instagram or Twitter.