On Friday night, Oyster Bay, NY instrumental rockers TAUK slid into The Catalyst in Santa Cruz, CA. The jazzy, synth supported, drum-beat driven tour de force that is TAUK can be hard to pin down, but the eccentric combination fits Santa Cruz like a glove. Exmag helped opened the show, with a well-received set. In the 30 minutes between the end of Exmag’s set and the start of TAUK’s, the fan-count more than doubled.
TAUK opened the show with the familiar groove of “Mokumba” from 2014’s Collisions. “Sweet Revenge (of Weenus)” followed, from the same release. The opening one-two punch spanned over 20-minutes and got the Catalyst room heating up. “Premises”, one of the tracks off TAUK’s 2018 EP Shapeshifter I: Construct followed, played out well with an almost reggae vibe that was quickly swallowed in a flurry of high energy, emerging again only at the end of the song. The full length counterpart to the EP, Shapeshifter II: Outbreak, was featured next with the new track “Pitter Pattern”.
The quartet then dropped into “Realize”, a bonus recording from 2016’s Sir Nebula sessions that the band released on April 21, 2017. TAUK returned with another Collisions pairing, with “On Guard” and “Tumbler”. “On Guard” featured an otherworldly middle section that nearly brought the once lively room to an awe-inspired standstill, momentarily catching the room off guard.
Always ready for a unique take on any cover, TAUK opted for a John Lennon original over a full Beatles track, treating the room to a version of “Jealous Guy”. “For Laughing Out Loud”, another track from the EP Shapeshifter I: Construct concluded the newly released tracks that TAUK brought to Santa Cruz. They ended the set with “Afro-Tonic” and “Friction”, two older, tried and true fan favorites.
For their encore, TAUK returned with “Dirty Mouth” and the appropriately titled closer “Time’s Up”, the lone (proper) representation of 2016’s Sir Nebula.
For a full list of TAUK’s upcoming tour dates and ticketing information, head to the band’s website here.
Check out a gallery of photos from the show courtesy of photographer Josh Huver below.
Setlist: TAUK | The Catalyst | Santa Cruz, CA | 10/26/2018
Set: Mokuba, Weenus, Premises, Pitter Pattern, Realize, On Guard, Tumbler, Jealous Guy, FLOL, Afro-Tonic, Friction
Encore: Dirty Mouth, Time’s Up