1st Anniversary Punk Rock Tacos Featuring Boss’ Daughter, Gray Trash Aliens, The Turdles, Torch The Hive, and More; Villa Park, Illinois

Earlier this year, Dying Scene introduced our readers to Noah Corona, the founder of Punk Rock Tacos. Corona hosted a PRT 1st Anniversary Party on October 21, 2022. Held at PRT’s home, Cemitas Poblanas in Villa Park, IL, it doubled as a Halloween costume party and featured bands from inside and from outside Illinois, including headliners Boss’ The Girl.

Boss’ Daughter, from Reno, Nevada, took the stage just after midnight on the 22nd. The trio, consisting of vocalist/guitarist Chris Fox, Jamie Locks on drums and Danny Paul on bass, rode through a generous set, including “Stupid Chords, Stupid Words, Stupid Song”, “Help To Forget”, “Religious Convenience”, “Embrace impermanence and “Photography”. This last track is a beautiful song, which I understandably liked, not only for the title, but rather for the sentiment expressed inside. It describes a query, which most of us photographers will probably ask ourselves from time to time.

We’ll see our last moonrise

I wish I had these pictures

Although mostly lost, this beauty shot remembers

Someone wrote the song for how I feel

So I’ll just sit and listen.”

Simply put, it was a very moving set.

SUMPP normally consists of Neil P. and Weftin, but that night drummer Phil Warren was added to the mix. The band’s set was very lively. I use the word animated because the band members, with their flailing limbs and growling facial expressions, made me think of Taz, the Tasmanian Devil from classic Loony Tunes cartoons. SUMPP went through “Consume!”, “Laid off”, “The Best, The Worst, and the Most Likely” (written by Weftin, unlike all other songs written by Neil P.), “Pillz”, “Terminator 2 had reason”, “Talkin’ Spit” and “Cranks”. It was an absolutely insane performance, which left many uninitiated at SUMPP slightly giddy. But the gaping gazes of many in attendance soon turned into smiles and It was a reaction I bet Neil P and Weftin were thrilled to see.

The Turdles – yes, the band’s name is spelled correctly and a play we all know about, from Elgin IL – played a lively set with “Courtyard”, Dick Pic”, “Why You Gotta Call The Cops” and “Empty Hallways” included in the set-list. As evidenced by their name, this is a band that uses humor to engage the audience. Lead vocalist Josh Holbrook, Dave Cherek on bass, Dan Cuchiara on guitar and drummer Charlie Stanley hit their marks on this night, and have done so for over a decade and a half, so if you have the chance, check out one of the band’s gigs.

Gray Trash Aliens has a unique name and since this event was a costume party as well as a first anniversary show, the band members seemed quite unique as well. Bassist and singer Patrick Mineau appeared with a large stain of fake blood on his t-shirt resembling a stab wound on the right side. Said t-shirt featured the words “I’m fine.” On his cap, a pair of scissors seems to be lodged in his skull. Adam Spizziri, lead guitarist, wore a bug cap and sunglasses. He matched in these themes guitarist Mike Milman who wore a full costume resembling an alien insect, including a full mask. The set, which included “Unsocial Media”, “Basement”, “Believe It” and “Addiction” among others, was as original as the band’s name. He went through the set, serving up a takeoff of a good time.

Chicago’s hardcore trio Anger is half of two-tone Chicago band The Crombies. Each member has their own distinct performance style. Dave Simon, its lead singer, is also the guitarist for the hugely popular rocksteady band, Deal’s Gone Bad. Simon is a prominent and colorful figure in the Chicago punk scene. His usual performance includes pirouettes, climbing on front stage amps and being carried through the crowd, on the shoulders of friends, but when he’s playing lead vocalist/guitarist he’s more closely related to the microphone. But he’s no less compelling, and each vocal pause frees him to engage the crowd. Matt Meuzelaar is a powerful drummer. Flapping stoically, it perfectly balances Simon’s ruckus. In the middle, Kevin Lustrup, is light on his feet as he bounces, usually on the spot. Lustrup and Meuzelaar drive the backbeat engine. Altogether, this adds up to an energetic performance on base. That night they played through another solid set including “Hard Livin'”, “Earth”, “Lost Last Night”, “Blood” and “Fucked Up”. Anger also performed “Listen Up” written by Simon in 1986. The crowd seemed quite happy to have Anger at this party and Anger seemed quite happy to have the crowd.

Chicago’s Torch The Hive kicked off the party with a fiery performance. The band consists of Mike Fruel on guitar and vocals, Tyler Sanders on bass and drummer Sergio Apanco. The set included “Copaganda”, “FEA”, “Molotov Trail”, and “Evil Men”, along with other tracks. The group didn’t set fire to hives during this event, but they did set fire to the stage. It was a flamboyant performance, and the crowd obviously digged it. I did too.

Punk Rock Tacos had a terrific first year full of shows featuring great bands, but the atmosphere is just as enticing. Events take place both inside and outside the room. The latter sometimes requires making scenes out of trucks and other objects. It’s a good time, where old friends hang out and new friends make. For my part, I hope Corona and Matt Durica, his partner in this endeavor, will continue for years to come.

See below for more images from this event below.

About Joan J. Hernandez

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