Tacocat at the Starline Social Club, by Joey Pangilinan
Tacocat (By: Joey Pangilinan)

In 2015, I had the best Halloween costume ever. Three days of taco fun: Friday, I was a fish taco. Saturday, I was a Taco Bell. Sunday, I was Tacocat. So I put it upon myself to make it a goal to see Tacocat dressed as Tacocat. On Satuday, Feburary 25 of 2017, the goal was achieved. Thank you, Noise Pop and Starline Social Club.

I was incredibly tired. I had no clue what seven full days of shows would do to me, but now I know. This was my last show of Noise Pop. I barely had a voice and was falling asleep in the back of the dimly-lit venue. I had been so excited to be there, even put on my Tacocat costume as soon as I was settled down. I took it off as soon as I realized I am too tired for this right now. I had to wait for Tacocat’s set for my costume change.

I was so excited to see Valley Girls live in this setting. The other band of Dylan Allard and Oliver Pinnell from Jay Som, Crush, and Summer Peaks, and a band they have had since they were 15, this night they brought out Super Valley Girls, which included the original three (Dylan, Oliver, Ciaran) plus Daniel Mandrychenko and Dylan’s sister Maddy. Every member of this band is incredibly talented and are some of the kindest and most passionate people I know, but to see Valley Girls in this super setting was…well…awakening. I was literally more awake.

Next up, was my favorite Adult Teen, Lisa Prank. Lisa Prank’s a band I’ve seen in so many settings. From my old college’s cafe to a little annex in the Richmond and now to a sold-out crowd in Oakland. Every time I see Lisa Prank live, I feel completely overjoyed. She’s my favorite one-woman band, failed figure skater, Bright Eyes fan, and former bagel maker. Bree Mckenna of Tacocat and Childbirth also came out to sing us a song with Lisa from their new twee project Second Becky (Julia Shapiro who was not present). Second Becky will soon be coming to cassette thanks to Father/Daughter Records. As Jessi Frick (the mastermind behind Father/Daughter) said, “It’s a true honor to be able to have Second Becky on our roster and anywhere near me.”

The only band I had not seen live before was Daddy Issues, even though they are a band I do love on my free time. I knew at least what songs to expect, but not how they would perform them. They were perfect — even better than perfect. I love them. This three-piece freaking killed it, and sounded better than they do on their recordings. Please go see Daddy Issues next time they’re in town, and give them and all these bands your money. Thank you for your consideration.

Then it was time for my costume change. I became Tacocat for Tacocat. I was Super Tacocat. I was, in real life and flesh, Tacocat. I had told everyone that this was my plan, but no one believed me until they saw my new identity. When Bree saw me, she freaked out, took a photo, then came back to ask me if it was OK for her to call me up on stage by name. I  said “Yes.” Duh, who do you think I am someone who is professional and composed? Have you been reading?

Last time I saw Tacocat live was at Bottom of the Hill in late 2015, after that fabled Halloween. I was one of the only people dancing like crazy. Maybe this is because, after nine years, Tacocat is finally getting the recognition they deserve. Maybe this was because BOTH is 21+ and a lot of the fans that came through for this sold-out show at Starline were not 21 at all. There was a large amount of what seemed like preteens and a few that were definitely younger than 10. The youngest one I saw was also dressed as Louise Belcher and they were the cutest little thing. If kids are growing up listening to bands like Tacocat, I have so much faith in the future. From songs about Dana Scully of The X-Files to songs about mansplaining, internet trolls, and bodily functions (from periods to UTIs) all of Tacocat’s songs are catchy, smart, and so well-performed. I am so happy for their success, and I am so happy I got called onto the stage to dance with them (and some darling li’l fans) during the all-time best menstrual-themed pop song “Crimson Wave.” It was a perfect way to end Noise Pop, and also perfect because I am on my period.