Tortoise @ Corner Hotel, Melbourne (Sat 13 Oct 2012)
I’ve been a passing fan of Tortoise for a long time, and saw them once about a decade ago at The Livid Festival in Brisbane, but remember nothing of the show, except that it was excellent. When the tour was announced, I snapped me up a ticket. Due to the magic of Spotify, I also got the opportunity to listen to a fair bit of Grails before the night as well.
I got to the venue as early as I could as their were four bands on the bill, and I wanted to see all of them. Unfortunately I missed Sleepmakeswaves. I did however see most of the set from New War. I will admit I didn’t really enjoy their show at all. Musically they were extremely capable, and the arrangements and playing were excellent. The vocalist, however, was their downfall. The vocals added nothing of substance to the songs, and took a fair bit away. Maybe it was because the main two acts of the night were instrumental, so I wasn’t expecting it? I don’t know, but I would be keen to hear the band sans vox, just out of curiosity.
I also forgot my camera, so the photos of this show are from my mobile.
Grails were up next, and absolutely smashed it. By this stage I’d caught up with my friends and moved towards the front.
The songs are brilliantly crafted, and I’m always a sucker for a multi-instrumentalist band. One of the drummers seemed intent on getting as hammered as possible through the show, and was swigging on a bottle of champagne at every opportunity. Not that that has anything to do with anything- just funny to watch.
Grails were tight, and damned good. A definite must see for those who are into instrumental post-rock.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Tortoise, but when two drumkits were setup, I knew I was in for a treat.
Sublime. Just absolutely sensational. I can’t describe it better than that. They were insanely tight, and played so damned well. The songs segued perfectly into one another, and at times it felt like we were listening to an hour long track that had a multitude of dramatic changes, rather than 10 or so different songs. Post-rock is a pretty broad genre, and seems to encompass any band that simply doesn’t have a vocalist. Quite odd really, when you consider how different bands like Tortoise are to Mogwai, who are again entirely different to Explosions In The Sky, yet all lumped in the same category. I’m a fan of all of those bands, but to me it’s like saying that U2 and Tool are the same genre just because their main musicality is based around guitar, bass and drums.
Tortoise are a band who I will definitely see again, and am so glad that I went to this show.
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