Review: Tortoise @ Lincoln Hall

The new Beacons Of Ancestorship material perfectly assimilates into Tortoise’s expansive catalog while providing the spark and breath of fresh air missing from their (admittedly lackluster) Pitchfork Music Fest set last summer. Beginning with the one-two punch of High Class Slim Came Floatin’ In and Gigantes off of Beacons, the band quickly settled into a block of classic Tortoise songs.

It always seems to take the band and crowd a bit to ease into the set and get on the same page, and while the whole show was killer, the last half of it was truly a spectacle. Prepare Your Coffin, perhaps the strongest tune off of Beacons, whipped the crowd into a frenzy. Since I spend so much time listening to this band by myself, it was great to hear the sold out audience hooting and hollering after the huge (rare) Jeff Parker guitar solo in Coffin.

Parker, known for his avant-jazz and atmospheric chops doesn’t often step up and shred like he does in PYC, which makes it all the more exciting. You knew he had it in him, but he often chooses texture, space, and delicate chord-voicings over traditional guitar prowess. Next, Salt the Skies absolutely destroyed to close the main set. Seriously. Check the video below. John McEntire is a beast on the drums.


The double encore was pure bliss, the first of which ended with the always-satisfying Lithium Stiffs into Crest. Seneca and Glass Museum to close the night sent the crowd home fully satiated and eager for the next time Tortoise will play Chicago, whenever the fuck that might be.

Tortoise – 2010-02-20 – Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL

High Class Slim Came Floatin’ In
The Suspension Bridge At Iguazú Falls
Monica>In Sarah, Mencken, Christ And Beethoven There Were Women And Men
Carteroak Foundation>Dot/Eyes
I Set My Face to the Hillside
Prepare Your Coffin
Salt the Skies
Lithium Stiffs>Crest
Glass Museum

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2 Responses

  1. great review. I’ve fortunate enough to catch these guys a couple of times and they are REALLY amazing live. I just wish they would bring to the road more often

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