The Starline Social Club buzzed with a uniquely curious and excited energy as audience members prepared themselves for one of the last Noise Pop festival shows. Hearing the conversations around me, some people were there because they were intrigued and already had a festival pass, some were fans of one of the opening bands, and some were there for the headliner. But as the crowd grew and the openers sung their praises for the band they were so excited to play with, it became very clear who the real focus of the show was. One thing that I will never get tired of about the Starline Social Club is that there is no backstage—the artists instead mingle amongst the crowd until it is their turn to play. When the members of Tacocat ducked between people and danced along to the opening bands they possessed some sort of angelic glow, and the people around them could not stop staring.
Comparing themselves to a “fluorescent-lit snack-aisle oasis in some desolate interstate road stop, brimming with Skittles and limited-edition Sno Balls,” Tacocat is my favorite girlish pop-punk-rock band right now. They’re made up of four members: Lelah Maupin on drums, Eric Randall on guitar, Bree McKenna on bass, and Emily Nokes on lead vocals. The combination is a delightfully tongue-in-cheek combination of angsty punk music and bubblegum pop. It was no surprise the band attracted an audience varying from age 12 to 60, appealing to the masses with both creative and silly lyrics and classic fuzzy guitar and bass.
Live, they play with the carefree playfulness of a music video, rather than a typical concert. Nokes did not stop dancing the entire time, bouncing around the stage with her tambourine in a candy colored outfit that reminded me of the toy Polly Pockets I played with as a little girl. Maupin, McKenna, and Randall also took part in the child-like fashions, each decked out with their own assortments of patterns and rainbow colors, and with Maupin and McKenna in a tinsel wig and a witch hat, respectively. The crowd couldn’t help but to dance and laugh along with them, and 10+ people actually came on stage and danced as the show approached its end. Overall, the bands sugary-sweet, feminist inspired, punchy tunes left me dancing and singing right out the door. Though their music speaks for itself, the band certainly gives a performance that made me appreciate their artistry ten times more.
Photo Credit: Amanda Hatfield