Trampled By Turtles are yet another band making their way largely unknown to the masses, but are regularly adding enough fans through Internet radio and old-fashioned word-of-mouth to sell nearly 1,000 tickets on a brisk Tuesday night in December in Salt Lake City.
Go figure. This Minnesota quintet, with old-fashioned instruments and an old-fashioned work ethic delighted a bouncing, dancing - and at times poorly behaved - crowd of mostly 20-somethings at The Depot.
The audience was reminded by the band not to throw bottles on the stage, and there were reports from downstairs of audience members throwing ice. And toward the end of TBT's set, one crowd member jumped on stage, danced around and eluded security before returning to the bounding throng below.
The musical highlights - along with the stage stormer - were toward the end of the show, through no fault of the band's but rather because the blaring sound system took about 45 minutes to improve. And sadly, bassist Tim Saxhaug was never really audible. The most consistent highlight were the songs' blazing finales often highlighted by the rip-roaring mandolin and scorching fiddle of Eric Berry and Ryan Young, respectively.
A few songs that really did penetrate the din and get the crowd going included "Whiskey," "Coedine" and "Wait So Long." Bolstered by singer/lyricist Dave Simonett's plaintive vocal style and heartbroke lyrics, the band is tough to label either traditional bluegrass or something decidedly different. One thing that is nice is they skip long, meandering solos a la many of their contemporaries. These guys are clearly on the rise - and based on Tuesday's well-received 90-minute show - deservedly so.