What’s in a name? Well let me tell you– absolutely everything. I could have spent last night at home catching up on work and sleep like the adult I should be trying to be but, instead, I found myself at a show that I knew nothing about. The only thing that drew me to said show was the headliner’s name. I mean, come on– Tacocat– my two favorite words combined into one. To say that the bar was set high would be an understatement and to say that they lived up to their name and then some would also be an understatement.
The lovely Sammi Lanzetta kicked the night off in a truly beautiful way. Fairly new to the scene, this Virginia based singer and her talented band wasted no time in jumping into a set that I never wanted to end. There was something so real and passionate about the way she performed. From the way her voice would slide from word to word and the way her lyrics had a way of hitting you right in the feels– for a fairly new act, Sammi is definitely making waves already and obviously has a huge future ahead of her.
Although there was an undeniable sense of power in her music, there was this feeling of nervousness that seemed to take over between songs. A bit quirky (but not at all quirky when compared to the headliners), the banter between Sammi and the audience was perfect. About half way through the set someone from the back of the audience yelled out something to the extent of “I love your music!” to which Sammi responded “I love your– yell”. She went on to explain that she couldn’t see that far so that’s really all she could think of to say back. Awkard– sure but also so real and honest and, well, it was impossible to not fall in love with this lady.
After about forty minutes of infectious pop-like songs with a heartbreaking somber song mixed in, Sammi said goodbye to the crowd and the stage was slowly but surely changed over for headliner Tacocat. The forty minutes that Sammi and her band spent on stage definitely packed a punch and the conversations following said set all sounded the same. It was obvious that the growing audience had fallen head over heels for Sammi and her music which made my so happy. Again, I truly can’t wait to see where Sammi goes and I absolutely can not wait for her to stop by again so I can take all of my friends.
Hailing from Seattle, Washington, Tacocat has a sound unlike anything I have ever heard. A little pop, a little punk and a whole lot of glam- every single song they performed on Thursday night had me moving along to the beat as if it was my favorite song that I had heard a million times before. Vocalist Emily Nokes stole the spotlight with ease as she danced around the stage with a tambourine in hand and a very theatrical look on her face. There was something awkward and quirky about her movements but also something so natural. Although Emily had a way of completely stealing the spotlight, I would be remiss to not bring up the three other members of the band. From Bree McKenna on bass to Eric Randall on guitar and rounding out the line-up with Lelah Maupin on drums, every single person on stage last night had a giant smile on their face. The sense of fun and energy that those smiles brought to the show is something that I wish other bands could see. If you aren’t having fun on stage, how in the hell do you expect a crowd to have fun? Tacocat is one of those bands that truly looks like they are having the time of their lives on stage and therefore causing the audience to also have the time of their lives.
Sometimes when I listen to a band on recordings after seeing them live something doesn’t match but that’s not the case with Tacocat. Although the energy that comes off from their recordings could never be as high as the energy given off during their live shows, the music was pretty damn close which left me more than impressed. There were moments when listening to the recordings that I could see Emily dancing on stage with her tambourine in my mind. Maybe it was her quirky moves and the way she had me in the palm of her hand throughout Tacocat’s set on Thursday night or maybe it just goes to show how talented and unique this band is– regardless, Tacocat has definitely found a space on my daily playlist in record time.
My expectations were sky high for Tacocat solely based on their name. They more than exceeded those expectations and left me with a hell of a Thursday night. Go to the show– even if all you know is a band name– go to it. You never know what you’re going to get and you could leave with a new favorite band or two.