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Tortoise – Sept. 29, 2006 @ Empty Bottle, Chicago

Tortoise @ Empty Bottle

Tortoise @ Empty Bottle

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

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.

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 — 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

The set was great, although they did lose me in a few places. To be fair, that’s . 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 /

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

Written by Justin Ward

Ad Ops Nerd. Living that San Diego life. Chicago born and raised.

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  1. Yeah, I saw them at Intonation too. And I was so dang tired from the day to really enjoy it. Plus, I think that you are right with the smaller venue comment. At the Bottle, the experience seemed far more attainable and intense. Did Bundy K. Brown come on during the second set too to play numbers from the s/t release?

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