Colorado is notorious for its abundance of bluegrass fans and enthusiasts, and Boulder showed Trampled by Turtles some serious love when they came into town last Thursday night. It was a packed house at the sold out Boulder Theater, and the band mentioned on several occasions that it was the largest crowd that they had ever played in front of. You could tell that Trampled by Turtles was genuinely amped about performing before such a large and rowdy audience, and the crowd reciprocated the enthusiasm making for a pretty damn electric show.
One of the things that I really love about Trampled by Turtles is that they don’t fit the mold of a traditional bluegrass string band. Rather than focusing exclusively on showing off their instrumental prowess with extended jam sessions, Trampled by Turtles showcased a diverse set featuring melodic slow songs such as “Whiskey” and “Midnight on the Interstate” and crowd-pleasing rockers like “It’s A War” and “Codeine”. There was still plenty of instrumental talent on display, and watching Ryan Young absolutely slay the fiddle is always a spectacle to behold. Trampled by Turtles’ set featured several selections from their excellent 2012 album Stars and Satellites, and I was especially excited to see them perform “Walt Whitman” and “Alone”. The Turtles are also always good for a couple of creative covers in their live performances, and this set featured their great cover of “Where is My Mind” (although I was really hoping to hear the Arcade Fire cover they have been performing lately.)
Even though I’ve heard the song about a billion times at this point, the highlight of the evening was still their performance of “Wait So Long” just because the crowd went absolutely wild for the tune. I have never seen such a rambunctious dance fest at a bluegrass show, and it was a crazy four-minute stretch of pure musical bliss. The energy and enthusiasm that Trampled by Turtles bring to their performances is what makes their shows one of my favorite bluegrass acts to see perform live. Their shows are just plain fun and a guaranteed good time. I definitely recommend that you check them out when they come to a city near you on their nationwide tour that recently kicked off. I’m sure that Trampled by Turtles are great in all of their live performances, but the rowdy bluegrass-crazed crowd at the Boulder Theater made this set one to remember.
~ Austin P.