Trampled by Turtles – Live at First Avenue


The Live at First Avenue CD-DVD set showcases material from ten years and six albums for Trampled by Turtles, as recorded live in Minneapolis in April 2013. True to their form, their harmonious vocals drift around atop their foot-stomping, earthy instrumentals. A guitar, a mandolin, and a prominent fiddle create a bed of deliberate mayhem for the lilting vocals to rest on. For a live recording, there is a surprisingly small amount of noise from the crowd on the album. But when it does come in, it enhances the experience, like when the crowd is singing along (rather well) to a Pixies cover of “Where is My Mind?”

On the DVD portion of the release, the crowd takes a bigger role, but even then it’s mostly visual. The 19-song performance DVD captures the ticket-holders experience, from waiting outside the theatre, to getting a wristband and standing in the middle of the crowd. During “Wait so Long,” the lights come up to show the crowd, as a beach ball drifts overhead. The visuals are simple but effective. Each song is lit with a different colour. “Codeine” is orange, and “Bloodshot Eyes” is fuchsia. The DVD is an excellent opportunity to see the sweat dripping off lead singer Dave Simonett’s forehead in high definition. Faces song “Ooh La La” is an impressive inclusion to the set, while “Stranger,” and “Wait So Long,” are clearly crowd favourites. The set list includes classic off-kilter ballads like “Gasoline” as well.  (BanjoDad, Kristin Cuma


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