Tacocat & Gymshorts Brought Magic Back To Punk Rock

Do you ever just go to a show that reminds you why you love music?

Well, I got a big dose of that feeling at the Tacocat and Gymshorts show this past Thursday at Rough Trade NYC.

Both badass bands bursted with energy and liveliness, while singing songs about not giving a fuck and yet still feeling all the feelings. Every punker is going to have their own definition for punk rock, but I think Tacocat and Gymshorts give a good idea of what that genre really means. Something about being unabashedly and so utterly yourself, even if you haven’t quite figured yourself out yet, screams punk rock to me.

Gymshorts takes the stage with the frontwoman in gym shorts and a Ben & Jerry’s t-shirt that’s 10 times too big for her. “My mom’s here,” she screams into the mic before she starts singing raw and fast songs about a love for weed and disrespecting authority. “Ding dong ditch/ your mom’s a bitch,” is blaring through the speakers. “But not my mom,” she quickly adds before the end.

Tacocat started by admitting they stole Gymshorts’ beer and have been reading too many Tarot cards for new friends before springing into “Dana Katherine Scully,” a song about The X-Files. So, basically it was exactly how I hoped for a Tacocat set to begin. Decked out in sparkles, tassels, checkers, platforms, fishnets and anything else you can imagine punk rockers who refuse to let go of their Lisa Frank phase would have on. Tacocat’s music and style screams, “I’m going to be me and you can fuck off if you don’t like that,” so loudly that it pulls you in like a moth to a flame. But this flame burns you with fun, short and sweet punk rock riffs about being on your period or depressed in a bathtub and the moth this time around was this sold out show in Brooklyn.

It’s been two years since Tacocat’s last album, so it was refreshing to hear them play mostly new songs. Frontwoman Emily Nokes kept apologizing for testing new songs out on the audience, but it was evident everyone was pumped about it. Though the crowd happily bopped to the new songs, they thrashed to the classics. Mouths moved along to every lyric for Tacocat’s classic hits like “Hey Girl” and “I Love Seattle.” When they came back for their encore “I Hate The Weekend” and “Crimson Wave,” it was a miracle the roof didn’t come down from all the fans going wild (myself included).

Both bands hung around outside in front of the venue smiling and chatting with fans and friends until the place completely cleared of showgoers. It was a night to remind all us New Yorkers there’s still magic in this music scene.

Tacocat and Gymshorts have been on tour together since early August, but still have a few more shows to go, so catch them on the East Coast coming to a town near you.

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