Photography by Dean Stephens
Wednesday night at Revolution Hall was filled with cat loving, body-positive, x-files watching, fans who were all there to see their favorite Seattle post-pop-punk-feminist group, Tacocat. Portland was to be the band’s last stop on their west coast tour for their winsome new album Lost Time which brought an extra dose of excitement to all those in attendance. Tacocat’s Pacific Northwest popularity can be shown from the last time they visited Portland during which they played an all ages free show at a completely full Jackpot Records with many having to listen from outside the doors.
The band was clearly enthusiastic about being back in the city as they pranced on stage and waved to the crowd with high spirits. They brought with them a colorful charm with singer Emily Nokes dawning long pink fringes on her arms, drummer Lelah Maupin exuding ‘80s Madonna while wearing bedazzled sunglasses, guitarist Eric Randall rocking a Tie-Dye T-shirt and bassist Bree McKenna wearing the most darling light-up boots that even Nokes was jealous of.
They started the show off with “Cat Fancy,” a track from their 2010 EP Take Me To Your Dealer and Nokes wasted no time displaying her quirky dance moves. Following was a string of catchy, relatable songs from Lost Time including “F.D.P.” (a crafty acronym for First Day of Period), “Dana Katherine Scully” (a reference to their well-known love of the television show X-Files), and “Horse Grrls.” Maupin’s upbeat drumbeats, Randall’s fuzzy, energized guitar, McKenna’s solid bass lines, and Nokes’ lively tambourine had the crowd bouncing and beaming to every song. Tacocat’s songs are humorous and animated but that doesn’t mean their talents shouldn’t be taken seriously. Their lyrics bring attitude and their prowess instrumentation are to be reveled. Halfway through their set, the band had to take a brief pause as Maupin had torn through her snare drum with her forceful playing. It was quickly replaced as the drummer from opener Cockeye handed her his drum with a kiss on the cheek.
Before playing the track “Hey Girl” from their debut LP NVM, Nokes divulged an incident of when McKenna was cat called while they were walking down the streets of New York in the early morning. The song itself takes down people who like to partake in this action with the lyrics “Who do you think you are? Yelling at me from your car.” Played live, the song gets a huge call and response from the crowd shouting “Hey Girl!” to Nokes’ lists of types of people who cat call. The crowd fed off the band’s vitality and their dancing became surprisingly erratic as people began to kindly mosh into one another. The band closed with the lovable, zany “I Hate The Weekend” a song in which it seemed every crowd member knew all the words to.
When Tacocat came back on stage for their encore, they played two of their beloved older songs. During the last song, members of openers Cockeye and The Bedrooms came out on stage to dance with them in costumes. It was an evening filled with glitter, glam and glorious musicianship that redefined the word fun.