Local Wire

The Trunk Space Reveals its Big Surprise — And It's A Familiar Sight

Musicians and performers gracing the stage of the new Trunk Space are now going to have an extra set of eyes watching on as they do their thing. More specifically, the peepers of a colorfully kooky creature that now decorates the back wall of the downtown Phoenix venue’s stage.

It's probably a familiar sight to Trunk Space regulars, considering the exact same fantastical beast adorned the exterior of the venue’s original location on Grand Avenue.

The wall-sized painting – which, like the original, was created by local artist Luster Kaboom – was unveiled by the Trunk Space staff on Saturday night for a small crowd gathered at the venue. It was touted as a big surprise in the days leading up to its reveal by owner Steph Carrico, who gave New Times some cryptic hints about the piece last week.

“There are things that we felt were really special about the old location and we wanted to try to include some of those things in the new space,” Carrico stated.

She wasn’t lying, as the creature was a trademark element of Trunk Space and sort of embodied the off-kilter spirit of the DIY venue. And, in essence, it allows the space new home at Grace Lutheran Church, where Carrico and company relocated last month, to feel more like its old location.

“The Trunk Space and it have always gone together, so it was nice to bring it back,” Carrico says.

Fittingly enough, the reveal was similarly off-kilter, and – as Carrico promised – it involved someone dressed as an elephant.

As the booming bombast of “Also Sprach Zarathustra” (better known as the theme to 2001: A Space Odyssey) played over the venue's sound system and a smoke machine belched out a meager bit of stage fog, a Trunk Space staffer dressed as a pachyderm costume frantically tore down the paper hiding the painting, earning applause and cheers from the crowd.

It didn't take long for the piece to serve as a backdrop for a performance as local father/daughter punk duo Sugar Skull Explosion hit the stage shortly after the reveal.

Carrico says she's happy to have the creature back, since it will add something extra to shows.

“It's quirky, like we've always tried to be,” she says.
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Benjamin Leatherman is a staff writer at Phoenix New Times. He covers local nightlife, music, culture, geekery, and fringe pursuits.