Seeing Tortoise is one thing. Seeing them up close, watching the synchronous drumming, the members swapping instruments song to song, playing in perfect time, is really seeing Tortoise. This was far from my first time with them, but it was my first time at the distance you see above, and it was incredible. Still on a high from last year’s The Catastrophist, the band felt less bound this time around to showcase those songs, instead delving back particularly hard into their landmark album TNT, among other corners of their catalog.
The Hall at MP, a relatively new below-ground venue paired with a Michael Psilakis restaurant up top, proved a good venue for these guys, with a broad stage that could accommodate all those instrument changes. One notable change toward the end of the set was a guest appearance by Yo La Tengo’s Georgia Hubley, who joined the band for “Yonder Blue,” the song on which she provided vocals for The Catastrophist.
In terms of the rest of the set, what constituted a “highlight” probably had as much to do with your introduction to the band and the set list of the last show you saw than the actual quality of the music, all of which was high. As Eric noted in his review of the previous night’s show, this band has been a gateway drug of sorts for many of us who grew into independent music that went beyond verse-chorus-verse, guitar-and-vocal sounds. What’s so notable about Tortoise is that they’ve probably kept doing that for so, so many more over the ensuing years.
I recorded this set with a soundboard feed of Tortoise engineer Elliott Dicks’ mix, coupled with Schoeps MK5 cardioid microphones in “X-Y” position onstage. The sound quality is truly outstanding. Enjoy!
Stream the complete set:
Hall at MP
Hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack
Tortoise live engineer: Elliot Dicks
Hall at MP engineer: Karl Schwarz
Soundboard + Schoeps MK5c (onstage, DFC, X-Y)>KCY>Z-PFA>>Zoom F8>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Adobe Audition CC (align, mix down, compression)>Izotope Ozone 5 (light EQ, effects, image)>Audacity 2.0.3 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )
Tracks [Total Time 1:26:31]
01 The Catastrophist
02 Prepare Your Coffin
04 In Sarah, Mencken, Christ, And Beethoven There Where Women And Men
05 I Set My Face to the Hillside
06 The Clearing Fills
11 Ten-Day Interval
12 Swung From the Gutters
13 The Suspension Bridge At Iguazú Falls
14 At Odds With Logic
15 [encore break 1]
16 Yonder Blue (w/ Georgia Hubley)
18 [encore break 2]
19 Salt the Skies