Show Journal

[Show Review] Trampled By Turtles Take on NC

Trampled By Turtles first show in Charlotte, NC was to a packed house at Neighborhood Theatre. It’s hard to believe it was their first time in the Queen City considering how much the Duluth, Minnesota band has frequented the region. It was just 86 miles up the road at Merlefest where they kicked their foot through the door years ago.

All of the pictures taken below were taken by Daniel McCord at the show in Asheville at The Orange Peel. I attended the Charlotte show and was treated like royalty all thanks to Gordon Jones. Gordon, Chelsea, and I had our own male escort bringing us beers to seats with our names on it. Our male escort greeted us at the door, gave us lanyards and even had a British accident! He was tall enough so that we could spot him from 20 feet, even with our beer goggles on. Perfect stature for a bluegrass escort. It was my first time having VIP treatment at Neighborhood Theatre and it was quite nice. Once we had some hippie stoners sneak in, and male escorted booted faster than a Beezer’s sub is created.

While many people waited in a long line for a hoppy beverage, Trampled By Turtles opened with “Midnight on the Interstate” off their latest album Stars and Satellites. When it comes to their live show, most people are accustomed to them sitting down and playing speedy, forearm tiring bluegrass. These days they’re standing up and mixing their set with an equal amount of ballads as speedgrass. Older fans groan, but most don’t complain about a ballad since they are in the shadows of the Avett Brothers in Charlotte.

But any time things slow down they know how to pick them right back up with songs line “Walt Whitman” or fan favorite “Wait So Long.” Having seen the Steep Canyon Rangers earlier this year, I feel like I’ve seen two of the finest performing fiddle players around. TBT fiddle player Ryan Young is constantly surrounded by a cloud of smoke, tearing through notes.

For a band that has played together for 10 years, they’re really now just breaking onto the national scene. Crowds have gradually been increasing over the years, but in March at SXSW we couldn’t get within 300 feet of the stage it was so packed, and the night before this Charlotte show they were on David Letterman making their national television début.  The name seems not to be scaring people off, but getting caught somewhere in the publics hippocampus.

All Photos taken by Daniel McCord at The Orange Peel.


  1. Hey David, Love your reviews, and it’s always good to hear of a great show, and experience, in Charlotte. Trampled by Turtles have played in Charlotte before, though – at the US National Whitewater Center That was a great show with a pretty nice-sized crowd to see them and the also amazing Apache Relay AND American Aquarium!

    1. I didn’t even fact check whether or not they had played in Charlotte to be honest. They said at the beginning of the show that it was their first show in Charlotte, so I just went off that. Maybe they meant headlining a venue?

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