Thursday, March 17, 2016

Tortoise - The Sinclair, Cambridge MA March 15, 2016

The Sinclair, Cambridge MA
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Support –Mind over Mirrors, E

Tortoise released"The Catastrophist"  back in January and it is a great return record for them.  Seems it had been quiet from their camp for some time.  When the band announced a string of shows I knew it was fine time I went to see them again.  The last time I saw the band was at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston so the venue felt a little more suited for them on this night.
Arrived when Mind Over Mirrors was performing.  Note I did not say anything about “on stage”.  Nope, set up on the floor right off the sound board.  The music was neat, sort of “drone” but enough that, at least at first, I wasn’t  begging for him to stop.  It was interesting, but 20 minutes or so was plenty.  It sort of felt like PA music so the wait for Tortoise seemed all that much longer.
Arriving on stage with little to no fanfare the members took their places on the stage.  On the front lip of the stage was two drum kits (both facing one another).  There were times when there were two drummers going, and others when there was no drummers.  
The band played about 55 minutes for their “main set” stopping only once to speak about how the primary was being held in their home state (Illinois) and that they were too scared to look at the results.  Other than hand waves that was about all the band did to acknowledge the sold out crowd.
The two encores felt a bit forced.  Why the band did two songs, break, then two more seemed unessesarry .  We still got the music, but the gaps messed up the flow where it was nearly flawless for the previous 55 minutes.
What drives Tortoise is the musicianship.  They are accomplished performers as evidenced by the carousel like ease the band had with swapping instruments.  The audience was respectful and engaged which is always a plus