Trampled by Turtles, Duluth's own speed-string quintet, played the latter of two shows at Pizza Luce before heading south on a national tour to promote their upcoming album, Palomino.
It was impossible to tell by appearances that Friday's was a send-off show. The band hardly said a word to the busting sold-out audience and the short encore was only a formality -- the band didn't even entertain the illusion that the show was over by leaving the stage while baited fans screamed the encore mantra ("One more song! One more song!").
Nonetheless, energy was high on Lake Superior. The symbiotic relationship between the increasingly quick-paced string picking and fast dancing was straight up biology. Girls wearing florescent day-glo face paint and weird stuffed animal hats, looking like they took a wrong turn on the way to a warehouse rave, danced with no concept of a personal bubble. Big men wearing western-style plaid spun around invisible lassos.
The diversity of Trampled by Turtles' fan base is an anomaly. They're one of very few bands in America that are hipster-approved but could heave a room of strangers into a hoe-down at any time.
The Turtles put on a brilliant performance Friday. Dressed in dark T-shirts and sitting in a horizontal line across the raised Luce stage, the percussionless fivesome didn't miss a note -- and there were so goddamn many notes to miss. Watching what was really an hour-long speed-plucking session was a true testament to the marvels of human endurance, both physical and mental.
The band will take their show on the road for a national tour, landing in Austin for South by Southwest next month and back in Minneapolis for back-to-back nights at First Avenue in early April.
Trampled by Turtles tour dates:
WE Feb 24 |House of Rock | Eau Claire, WI
TH Feb 25 | DG's Taphouse | Ames, IA
FR Feb 26 | Iowa City Yacht Club | Iowa City, IA
SA Feb 27 | Headliner's | Louisville, KY
FR Mar 5 | The Venue @ The Hub | Fargo, ND
FR Mar 12 | The Bottleneck | Lawrence, KS
SA Mar 13 | Blueberry Hill | St. Louis, MO
SU Mar 14 | The Fly | Tulsa, OK
Mar 17 - 20 | SXSW | Austin, TX
WE Mar 24 | Southgate House | Newport, KY
TH Mar 25 | Radio Radio |Indianpolis, IN
TH Apr 8 | Double Door | Chicago, IL
FR Apr 9 | First Avenue | Minneapolis, MN
SA Apr 10 | First Avenue | Minneapolis, MN
SU Apr 11 | High Noon| Madison, WI
TH Apr 15 | Elks Ballroom | Missoula, MT
FR Apr 16 | Wonder Ballroom | Portland, OR
SA Apr 17 | Tractor Tavern | Seattle, WA
TU Apr 20 | Independent | San Francisco, CA
WE Apr 21 | Moe's | Santa Cruz, CA
SA Apr 24 |Stagecoach Festival | Indio, CA
WE May 12 | Hodi's | Fort Collins, CO
TH May 13 | Belly Up | Aspen, CO
FR May 14 | Ogden Theatre | Denver, CO
FR May 28 | Delfest | Cumberland, MD
FR June 4 | Wakarusa Festival | Ozark, AR