Published Sep 11, 2008It was pleasant to hear Torontos musically morphing Sandro Perri open the night for Chicago post-rock wizards Tortoise. This was definitely a Sandro Perri performance, not one of his most experimental monikers at play like Polmo Polpo, and he kept it true to his name, playing the adventurous folk of his Constellation Records release, Tiny Mirrors. The crowd seemed to dig the low-key vibe, which was spiked with some electronic droning and hiccupping and a few deliciously notable off-kilter guitar leads near the end of his set, though something more rhythmically involving may have been a more suitable warm-up.
A single man set-up did allow Tortoise to take the stage swiftly however, and the anticipation for these giants of accomplished musical innovation needed no stoking. For a band with no hits, this sure as hell felt like a greatest hits night. The prodigiously talented ensemble played a plethora of fan favourites, digging deep into TNT and subsequent albums.
Its always a delight to witness the utter musical mastery each member possesses over whichever instrument hes playing at any given time. To have not even just two, but three drummers of immense capability who can also switch to bass, keys or the glorious vibraphones and play off of equally talented individuals specializing in stringed instruments and keyboards is bloody mind-boggling.
There wasnt much variation in their set from last years stop in town and they didnt preview any new material from a rumoured forthcoming album, but simply the opportunity to see one of the worlds truly magnificent live acts is a transcendent musical blessing.