On an absolutely perfect Sunday afternoon I was able to catch an old fashioned Sunday Matinee show at a cute little Mexican restaurant called Mole Mole in Poughkeepsie New York. Where not only was the weather perfect, the food exquisite , and the entertainment excellent, but the entire concept of a free afternoon show featuring all of the above was, well, astonishing these days.
Please read on below and I’ll explain.
We arrived about 25 minutes after the official start time of 12-noon to find newcomer, Alt Country artist Jennie Angel, just starting her solo acoustic set. Over the last few years I have become more of a fan of this genre of music, and Jennie Angel I am happy to say delivered a solid, really solid, though at times heart wrenching set of broken hearted ballads with one or two covers thrown in for good measure.
Her voice in my opinion is perfect for this style of music, and several of the songs definitely moved me as well as a few of the older tougher looking punks in attendance who I could see take notice after her third or fourth song.
After Jennie Angels set we grabbed out first batch of Tacos from the trailer the restaurant had set up outside opposite the stage where we enjoyed 3 steak tacos for $10, and an Ice cold can of Tecate beer. One of the sponsors of this fine event.
At approximately 1:00pm the sounds of the next band tuning in and checking levels began and we headed closer to the stage where the next band began a decidedly faster, harder, and louder set. This band was also new to me, their name was Zombii, and with their set the crowd began to grow.
Zombii was a really fun fast all out punk rock band, the front man with a green mohawk and Ramones T, and the Bassist wearing a Rancid T, bounced insults and jokes back and fourth to one another in between songs and managed to pull off their silly banter in fun and professional way, we all know those bands who tend to take the banter a bit to far, Zombii did not.
Although I was unfamiliar with their original songs most all of them were fun and fast, and their stage presence was that of a seasoned band. Somewhere in their set they slowed it down a bit for a cover of Two Fisted Law’s Late Nights and Bar Fights. which got the crowd all worked up and fists pumping. As well as another awesome cover of the Bouncing Souls Lean On Sheena, which got every one singing along one more time.
Overall an excellent set from a new band that I look forward to seeing again.
Next to hit the stage was one of my favorite new bands, Philadelphia’s Riverside Odds. This would be my third time seeing them, and I am happy to say they certainly did not disappoint, and lived up to the hype I had given to my friends who had joined me for this show. Riverside Odds has a dirty rock & roll Motorhead quality that I love. They sing tough sexy rock and roll songs in what they call a Speed Punk Rock & Roll, style. Well whatever they want to call it, it works, and they know how to deliver it. Fast and hard, and without any politically correct niceties.
Front man Ralph Hellborn commanded the stage while the two guitar players behind him just shredded their instruments with furious riffs running through song after song of their 40 minute set.
At this time I had decided to switch from beer to tequila, in the form of a delicious Margarita. While sipping on said delicious Margarita, another band I have seen a couple times hoped onstage and began their set. Babe Patrol who hail from New York City played a solid 40 minutes of really fun fast pop punk.
I believe I have seen Babe Patrol 5 times now, and they always always bring a good show. The absolutely lovely front woman Jewels Pietro has a voice that leaves you wondering how the entire world doesn’t know this band? That along with fun, and not always so fun subject matter and topical lyrics, definitely makes Babe Patrol a band that should be on everyone’s playlist, and on every ones must see list.
My above description was evident to be a shared opinion by the crowds reaction to their set, where everyone in attendance was dancing and singing along with the band throughout their entire time on stage.
Next on the list was one of my personal favorites Kyle Trocolla. Weather solo, or with his full band The Strangers as he was on this day, he always plays his heart out, and is probably one of the nicest people you are ever going to meet in the music business.
Kyle & The Strangers opened with their song Fifty Dollar Bills, and continued with all of their fans favorites including When I’m Done, Throw Away Kids, and dropped a rousing cover of American Pinup’s Boarding House, and a fun mash-up cover of Cheap Trick’s- Want You To Want Me, with The Misfit’s- Skulls, which worked really well, and got a lot of the older people in attendance very excited.
Now after finishing up my second Margarita and purchasing my third, I have decided this is my favorite show of all time, and head over to the merch tent with my friends to purchase a T shirt from the show. One that I can wear with pride sometime in the future at another show to attest to the fact that at this moment I did indeed decide this was the best show ever.
From across the lot we can see the headliners, none other than the mighty Hub City Stompers, take the stage, and hear them tuning in and doing sound checks, maybe it’s the alcohol combined with a full day of sun, but I feel a warm sense of love permeate this dirty little parking lot as everyone once again moves closer to the stage, beers and tacos in hand for the last set of the event, smiles abound as we all find our positions and finish out this show.
Hub City Stompers, as always did not disappoint, their Ska Punk sounds wrapped around us all with an honest hug of unity and faith that on this warm and sunny Sunday afternoon, a few punks and freaks could get together and admire each others T shirts and hair dye choices while we totally rock out and let loose of every care in the world for a few hours. (again there is some alcohol involved at this point.)
Reverend Sinister and Jenny Whiskey sang all of the crowds favorites, old ones like Whole Lotta Mulatto, and Hub City Stomp, as well as new ones including Hard Place To Be, and Distance Water. off of 2018’s Haters Dozen.
All in all a stellar performance that knocked all of us in attendance to our knees, and showed why the Hub City Stompers have been able to stand the test of time while so many others have fallen by the way side.
Punk & Tacos was a great event and I hope they do it again next year. Big thanks to the organizers and to all the sponsors, Mole Mole Restaurant, Tecate Beer, Altercation Records, Darkside Records, and Punkoleum Magazine.
Thanks to everyone involved for my favorite show of 2019.
Photo’s By Jeff Tamboia