Trample by Turtles entertains, entrances at Treasure Island

Sep. 17—WELCH, Minn. — Minnesota's own Trampled by Turtles mesmerized and energized a crowd at the Treasure Island Resort and Casino Saturday night.

The group's brand of high-energy, amplified bluegrass, Americana rock has cultivated a nation-wide following, as well as the customary home state pride from Minnesota music fans.

A crowd of more than 12,000 filed into the Treasure Island Amphitheater dancing, jumping and singing along with frontman Dave Simonett and the rest of the band.

Trampled by Turtles, the chart topping band originally from Duluth, has become a crowd favorite and perennial performer at the venue, this year's show hit a snag before any performers hit the stage. Ohio folk rock band Caamp, while on a tour this fall, was originally scheduled to join Trampled by Turtles Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023 at the outdoor amphitheater.

Instead, fans saw a lineup including alternative rock band Deer Tick and Austin, Texas musician Shakey Graves.

Fittingly, Trampled by Turtles started their set with "Starting Over." After the opening song, Simonett expressed gratitude for being there and the crowd's appreciative response to the changes to the show.

"It took planning to put together this line up," he said.

Shakey Graves played a one-man set using loop pedals and a kick drum to create a full band sound.

"Surprise," he said to the crowd after opening his set.

He received a standing ovation after finishing his song, "Roll the Bones."

He concluded his set with "Late July," a murder ballad from the perspective of someone who murders a golddigger, flees to Mexico and is arrested on a marijuana farm and extradited back to the U.S. for execution.

"It's inevitable, it happens to everyone," he said of the story. "All you young people out there, yeah, it's coming for you too."

The crowd stayed on its feet for the Trampled by Turtles set.

Trampled by Turtles adeptly shifted their energy from burning, fast ballads such as their blistering performance of "Codeine" to slow and soulful songs such as "Alone."

Simonett was far from alone as he sang the building ballad from the group's 2012 release, "Stars and Satellites."

"You're amazing, thank you," he said to the crowd at the conclusion of the song. "You're making me happy and breaking my heart at the same time."

Although each song featured at least some instrumental break or solo, another, slow crowd favorite, "Whiskey" allowed each of the six musicians to show their picking skills with melodic clarity. Erik Berry's mandolin work was emotive, giving the song the bright tone it has in studio recordings.

Ryan Young elicited appreciative cheers with his rapid fire bowing in "Wait So Long."

Sommonett's voice was clear and heartfelt. He carried the intro to "Midnight on the Interstate" beginning the song with only his guitar picking and his voice before banjo player Dave Carroll added his syncopated melodies. Eamonn McLain added swelling tones bowing on the cello.

Although Trampled by Turtles got its start in Duluth, the group's roots spread throughout Minnesota. Simonett used to live in Red Wing, Minnesota. He also recorded his solo project outside Cannon Falls, Minnesota. The crowd cheered as Simonett mentioned Red Wing by name in the lyrics of "Kelly's Bar."

Shakey Graves was wearing Iron Ranger model boots while he stomped his kick drum in a less noticeable nod to the river city just south of the venue.

For the group's encore, they ended with a crow pleasing fast-paced instrumental ballad. That was after bass player Tim Saxhaug took the lead on the microphone with a moving rendition of Warren Zevon's "Keep Me In Your Heart."