TAUK is a driven band and its vehicle must be a spaceship.
The instrumental quartet from Oyster Bay, New York, landed at the Big Meadow stage and captured an enthusiastic audience with energy that rose with each song.
“We appreciate how far we’ve come and we’re not ever going to be fully content,” said guitarist Matt Jalbert. “There are always bands just as hungry as you.”
New fans, who call themselves Staukers, were made at High Sierra. The band was joined Friday by the Turkuaz horn section — Truckee Native Chris Brouwers on trumpet, Greg Sanderson, tenor sax, and Josh Schwartz, baritone sax. Main Squeeze guitarist Max Newman also hopped onboard and he and Jalbert had a frenzied dual while the crowd beamed with smiles and dancing. It seemed out of this world.
On a tour with Umphrey’s McGee, the band played the West Coast last spring for the first time. After its High Sierra showing, TAUK is sure to be back here often, including the Hangtown Halloween Ball in October.
Three of the members – Jalbert, bassist Charlie Dolan and keyboardist A.C. Carter — have been friends since they were in middle school. Drummer Isaac Teel is the final piece of soaring cerebral funk band and he has the same existential drive of his bandmates.
“If we aren’t rising, we won’t be,” he said.
The band made six flights in three days when it touched down for a late show on the festival’s opening night, which ended at 6:45 a.m. New York time. After its set the next afternoon, it headed to Arkansas on Saturday to play the Highberry Music Festival.
“When we played Colorado we thought it was the final frontier. Now it’s our biggest market,” Dolan said. “Each year we are pushing further and further.”
Just four years ago, Jalbert said it was not unusual for TAUK to play for fewer than a dozen fans.
Now it seems there’s no limit to how high the band will ascend.
“We just did Canada for the first time, then it will be the rest of the world,” Jalbert said. “Maybe next will be the moon.”
Check out all the stories from High Sierra on our Festival page. LINK