God Lives In Tucson, HOCO Fest is Proof!
God lives in Tucson, Arizona. I know that may come as a shock to some of you but it’s true. On some days you’ll find him face down in a ditch with a forty in both hands, others you’ll see him cramming a Sonoran dog down his divine throat at BK’s Tacos. He is rarely dressed in anything but a cowboy hat, Hawaiian shirt, short shorts and cowboy boots. As he rails more mystery pills and orders himself another drink, he tears up. “It wasn’t supposed to be like this” he mutters to himself as he gazes upon his depraved, hopeless creations. He is conflicted, as his creations have overstayed their welcome and much to the dismay of Christians everywhere, the second coming was cancelled the day God packed his bags for the Sonoran desert. Now, he waits, watches and loathes everything his once beloved children do, knowing full well that it is all his fault. In one last attempt at regaining a minuscule amount of faith in himself, he shows his true form but is immediately escorted out of the bar by security. Tucson didn’t want to be saved.
Instead, they wanted an event to summon the deepest and most primal desires of the human condition and they enlisted the help of everyone from Temple of Angels to S.H.I.T. to Lil B for another installment of HOCO Fest. For those who weren’t trying to die last weekend and remain unaware, HOCO is a genre mashing rip ride that spans across downtown Tucson for 5 days of music and general debauchery. I’ll spare everyone the “you really missed out if you didn’t go” rhetoric, but I will say that HOCO is a beacon of hope for festival fiends as it caters to every taste fathomable all while being uncompromising in its mission to provide an atmosphere that has not been completely co-opted by corporate interests. Tucson is not a city that comes to mind when hip elitist assholes discuss cultural meccas, but it fucking should be. People flock to festivals with the goal of seeing the most developed areas where upscale eateries and beautiful people flaunt their skewed perception of self expression. And while Tucson is not exempt from its own internal battles with developer pigs, the organizers of HOCO had little, to no interest in sheltering attendees from what the city truly looks like when the lights go down. That being said, huge standout performances consisted of:
- Destruction Unit
- Prom Body
- Body of Light
- Temple of Angels
- Boy Harsher
- Death Bells
- Rotting Yellow
- Spirit Adrift
- Get A Grip
- Jock Club
However, it was Tucson natives (and ritual Godflesh worshipers) Realize that shined the brightest, which is no easy task when you are playing alongside so many incredible artists/bands. They are the band to watch in AZ right now and I don’t think there are any pictures from their set but do yourself a favor and get punished by their bandcamp when you have a minute.
HOCO can’t be “reviewed” or forced into a mold of what sells tickets, it is its own entity thriving in a place that is hardly sustainable for life. Leave your flower crown and bro tank at the door, toss your dreams of living in LA in the trash, and immediately start planning your trip to Tucson next year. In the meantime, lurk the highlights below and keep up with HOCO on all social media platforms and don’t forget your swim suit.