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Tortoise @ Empty Bottle

Tortoise @ Empty Bottle

Last Friday night, I went to see Tortoise play the first of two shows at the Empty Bottle. I chose the early show over the late show; I figured that the crowd would be on par with my show-going experiences and I guessed right…

The band came out and dropped a simple “thanks for coming…” on the crowd before launching into “It’s All Around You.” They played a few off of TNT, easily my favorite album by them and stayed mostly towards the Standards and It’s All Around You side of their song catalog.

The band switches instruments on every tune — bass goes to drums, drums go to xylophone/marimba, keys goes to drums, etc. — and I couldn’t help but wonder “what if one of the guys gets sick of playing the drums — then what does the band do?” I’m sure the songs were pieced together and written nearly separate in some cases until the full production happens — and I imagine the band has to do a lot of rehearsing to get their full sound live…

The set was great, although they did lose me in a few places. To be fair, that’s Tortoise. They were supposed to lose me. They’re pushing the limits and boundaries of what’s even possible in instrumental post-rock — seriously — so I shouldn’t have expected anything less. I’ll definitely be seeing these guys again.


Some more photos…

Tortoise @ Empty Bottle

Tortoise @ Empty Bottle

Tortoise @ Empty Bottle

Tortoise @ Empty Bottle

Photos © Justin Ward / Live Music Blog

Check out GABURU’s gallery of the show on Flickr; he’s got better shots than me…