A growing number of entertainers or so-called creators have attracted large followings on the assortment of social media platforms proliferating as aspects of daily life today. In some cases, those numbers are compelling, but even followers in the millions can’t accurately predict or verify a digital celebrity’s ability to stand on a stage and impress a crowd.
Peter Martin appears to be cut from a different block than most of the sensations who post videos of themselves to the delight of many returning viewers. Known simply as “Petey” and wildly beloved by approximately 1.5 million followers on TikTok, Martin is showing that he’s far more than the curiously goofy and light-hearted bud depicted in his undeniably funny clips.
Considered a comic genius early in his career but a longtime musician, Petey took the stage at 9:30 Club on Nov. 5 and packed the building with folks who might have discovered him on TikTok or another app but were there to hear and see him perform his songs.
Listen to USA, the new album from Petey, via Spotify:
The Michigan native just released his second studio album, USA, and he’s out on tour promoting this invincible collection of tracks that builds on his first release, Lean Into Life, as well as the EP Other Stuff. Unquestionably benefiting from the exposure of his social following, Petey’s clearly found a singular voice and an obsessive recipe of indie pop and emo rock. His songs vent his curiosity and his frustration, ultimately revealing his sweet personality and his wisdom.
Leaping from the 450-capacity Union Stage he played on his last visit to one of the most storied venues in the country, Petey showed himself the night of November 5 to be flourishing as a bandleader and as a songwriter. Fans heard clanging new singles like “I’ll Wait” from the new record, but some Petey favorites too, like the revitalizing “Lean Into Life” and a rowdy take on “Don’t Tell The Boys” for the evening’s encore.
Watch the new music video for Petey’s single “Family of Six” via the artist’s YouTube channel:
Martin was joined by guitarist Garrison Benson, bassist Drew Bruchs, and drummer Ukiah Bogle. He was by his own admission, however, without much to say other than a here-or-there comment mumbled in a splendid Great Lakes accent. A soft-spoken deep-thinker, a “fearless leader” according to his mates, he did revisit his first ever visit to DC: a third-grade field trip. But his gratitude was adamant on what he referred to as “as really special night,” in the “biggest room” he’s ever played.
I Tried To Draw a Straight Line
Home Alone House
Lean Into Life
We Go On Walks
Pitch a Fit
Skip This One
Birds of a Feather
Family of Six
Did I Mention I’m Sorry
The Freedom To Fuck Off
Don’t Tell The Boys
Here are home developed, home scanned images of Petey (some on 50-year-old expired BW film) along with the night’s opening act, North Americans, performing at 9:30 Club in Washington DC the night of Nov. 5, 2023. All photographs copyright and courtesy of Casey Ryan Vock.