Trampled By Turtles | Lollapalooza | August 5, 2012
Photo: Ryan Bourque
Trampled By Turtles eased into its Sunday afternoon set with ballad "Alone," a sleeper that develops progressively into a flurry of acoustic guitar, mandolin, banjo and exultant three-part vocal harmonies. Ryan Young's fiddle shredfest tore through the blistering tune "Walt Whitman," drawing emphatic hollers from the crowd. Coupled with the fiery instrumental that followed, Trampled By Turtles proved that lightning-fast bluegrass doesn't have to bench any bit of soul. "Bluegrass" as a descriptor fits TBT only in the sense of instrumentation, though, metamorphosing the traditional song format and gestures most notably in downtempo numbers like "Widower's Heart." Kudos must be given to the engineers at the Red Bull Soundstage for coaxing out some gorgeous overtones on Dave Carroll's banjo, and for a composite band sound that made us forget we were at an outdoor festival for a moment. A quick note to Young, though: Brother, that gash on your fiddle's table is giving your fellow string players nightmares!