Photos and words by Rez Avissar
There seemed to be some mixed opinions on the venue but I found it to be a pretty inspired choice, although admittedly in the press box I was thinking to myself that the folks in the back's view must be suffering. It sounded good and everything went very smoothly. I arrived just in time to catch the final three acts of the night.
[Wu Man, Sandeep Das, and Brooklyn Rider]
Performing Sulvasutra by Evan Ziporyn
[Bang on a Can All-Stars & Ryuichi Sakamoto]
Performing new work by Ryuichi Sakamoto and Horses of Instruction by Steve Martland
Tortoise's harmonically-rich set was mostly taken from their upcoming record, Beacons of Ancestorship, starting off with album opener "High Class Slim Came Floating In." They have been called everything from "post rock" to "ambient jam band" to "jazz" and their set filled all of those pretty neatly. With visuals that were visibly custom-made for each individual track, the band members switched up instruments in between songs,
Tthe band played a short, 7-song set largely driven by its two drum kits. Other songs abandoned the drums for malleted percussion, which moved the group away from driving jams to more minimal pastures. Their volume drowned out the room's rattling air conditioners, but at times the drums, right up front, overwhelmed the total group sound in the echoing hall. Granted, shifting, propulsive beats are kind of Tortoise's raison d'être, and their groove-heavy songs capped the Marathon with engaging, kinetic energy. A collection of psyched devotees jammed along in an area next to the stage. [Andrew Frisicano @ brooklynvegan]
Photo note: Darkest performance I've ever shot by far! But I'm tired of complaining about poor lighting. I'm actually way surprised I was able to squeeze these shots out @ 1/8 sec shutter speed.