TAUK & Displace
May 8, 2015 • Crowbar • Tampa, FL
LiveMusicDaily & BrokenMold Ent. & Moongoddess Ent. LLC
Every once in a while, a band comes along and it is apparent that you have to see them. Your friends tell you that there’s something about this group that sets them apart and that you’d be silly not to take any chance you have to see them.
TAUK is that band.
Let’s start with the basics: Matt Jalbert’s tone on guitar is truly infectious. It echoes the style of Jimmy Herring but also channels its own distinct characteristics. Alric “A.C.” Carter is a savant on the keys and Charlie Dolan on bass is the glue that holds it all together. Last but definitely not least, the man on the throne, Isaac Teel, is a monster amongst men. What he does behind that drum kit has the crowd’s jaws on the floor all night. Together, these guys have created something special
Before this show, I had been listening to them for quite some time and was definitely intrigued. But, could they live up to the hype?
To start the night, DJ K Slat spun on the ones and twos, which got the crowd up and moving to his magnetic blend of nu-disco and tech house. His funky style helped to keep the energy up as he played between sets for the remainder of the night.
Then local up-and-comers, Displace, took the stage. Though this band has its roots in Tampa, they are far from being just a local band. Having extensively toured the Southeast, hitting spots such as Boone, NC and New Orleans and festivals everywhere in between, this band is on the move.
They opened with “Geonosis Shuffle,” an original 15-minute dance hit, which set the tone for the night. Next, they dove into a bluesy cover of “Valerie” by The Zutons. Then, they unleashed the crowd favorite and auditory journey that is “Needles.” This rollercoaster of a song is split into two parts on Displace’s new studio album titled “Eureka!.” The energy was pulsing through Crowbar as Displace finished off their set with a 25-minute mash up of originals “Waffle Fries” and “Fog”. Rightfully so, the crowd erupted as they begged for more, but that would be all the Displace they would get for the night. It was time for TAUK.
TAUK didn’t miss a second once they hit the stage as they set the tone with funky versions of “Program Select” and “Dead Signal.” Following was “Sweet Revenge,” which started off rather relaxing before catapulting into the progressive instrumentals they’re revered for. Matt Jalbert has a guitar tone all his own, but, I couldn’t help but make comparisons to Jimmy Herring and the like. Next up was a contagious cover of Radiohead’s “I Might Be Wrong” and drummer Isaac Teel took the wheel. With guitarist Matt locked in on Isaac’s rhythms, the band experimented with crazy tempo changes that can only be described as puzzle funk.
TAUK are masters at controlling the crowd’s energy. The band has the ability to grab hold of the crowd by slowly building songs before letting them bubble over, all of which are almost guaranteed to have you bouncing before the end. The rest of the set included solid versions of their originals “When in Doubt,” “Carpentino’s Rebirth,” and “Rainwalk” before closing it out with “In Bloom” by Nirvana. At this point, high school-me was ecstatic and, judging by the crowd, I was far from the only one.
DJ K Slat returned to keep the crowd engaged as TAUK took a well-deserved break. However, once he left the stage, it was clear that the chill vibes were done for the night. TAUK came back for another full set and jumped into their original titled “Chemist” as the crowd sprinted back to the stage. Coming up would be a pleasing rhythm section-driven version of ”Darkwing,” followed by “Friction,” the song that initially won them over for me, and then a 10+ minute epic version of “Districts.” Keyboardist A.C. found deep space on the synthesizer and by now the entire band was locked in on all fronts. They rolled right into “Tumbler” (pun intended), which would become one of the many highlights of the night. This polyrhythmic dance tune seamlessly transitioned between melodic funk and heavy progressive rock (Thank Issac for making that happen). If there is one song that encapsulateswhat TAUK is, “Tumbler” is it, and they properly ended the song with a monstrous drum solo by Isaac.
The jamtronic-esque song titled “Afro-Tonic” came up next followed by “Mindshift.” At this point, the lights went red and the mood got dark as the band appropriately shifted into one of the best versions of “Collateral” I’d ever heard. Charlie Dolan led a psychedelic, bass centric intro before the band delved deep into their arsenal. Again, comparisons to Herring came about as they shredded a 10+ minute version of this song.
Now it was time for the band to have some fun as theystarted toying with the crowd, playing the first few seconds of The Beatles’ “She’s So Heavy (I Want You)” before stopping completely. The venue went wild, willing the band into a beautiful version of the song, allowing Isaac to demonstrate what a drummer is supposed to do. They ended the night with an encore of Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song”. These guys know their covers.
All in all, this was a night for the books. The energy was unforgettable inside of Crowbar and the music of DJ K Slat and Displace complemented the headliner perfectly. After tonight, I now know why TAUK carries the hype that they do. That being said, you have to see them.
* Special thanks to Bret, Crowbar, Matthieu, and Phil