Trampled By Turtles (Duluth, MN), These United States (Washington D.C. and Kentucky), Erik Koskinen (Saint Paul, MN)
April 11th, 2012
First Avenue Main Room in Minneapolis, MN

Gallery: Smugmug

At my day job, getting a prime week off during the year is really hard to come by. Even though I’ve been there for five years, I’m pretty close to last in picking vacation time still. Little did I know that the random week I picked in April would end up yielding two amazing shows and one amazing release by Duluth’s pride and joy: Trampled By Turtles.

Tuesday morning, the Electric Fetus in Minneapolis was releasing the new album “Stars and Satellites” at 9am, but with a twist! The first 150 people in line that bought the album revived a wristband (see below) to get into a Trampled By Turtles (TBT) show that night at the 7th Street Entry, I was number 133. I won’t bother you with the photos I took with my phone, but I will tell you the place was rockin and one sweaty fun night.

Wristbands and passes from the two TBT shows

The following night kicked off with Erik Koskinen’s band. Koskinen has been a favorite of mine ever since I saw him last summer in Duluth at The Rex after a Willie Nelson concert. He is part of Dead Man Winter which is also headed up by Dave Simonett, performs with Molly Maher & her Disbelievers and many other projects. He was joined by TBT at the end of his set to perform an amazing rendition of “Detroit Detroit”.

Erik Koskinen

These United States followed and blew me away! I saw them a few nights earlier at Cause Sound Barin Minneapolis and  thought “They’re ah’ight”, but they flourished up on the Main Room stage! Their blend of dirty indie rock and country made of a energy filled set that was capped off by TBT joining them in a cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “I’m Going Down”.

These United States

Between bands at First Ave, a big movie screen comes down in front of the stage to show photos of past bands and posters of upcoming shows. When the lights go down and the screen comes back up, the photogs rush back into the pit to jockey for position… tonight was different. We were told to hold on by the bouncer, because there was going to be a stage dive. I thought “OK, I have faith that any member of TBT would be able to clear the pit with flying colors, so whats the deal?”

The band came out and were joined by Mayor R.T. Rybak (photo below) and Mayor Don Ness of the great cities of Minneapolis and Duluth. They declared that April 11th, 2012 was Trampled By Turtles day in both cities and there was much rejoicing. Dave Simonett (TBT) thanked them and stated that is was time for them to get off stage, but not the way that they got on the stage. They then proceeded to stage dive! One more graceful than the other, but kudos to both of them for being amazing sports.

Has your Mayor crowd surfed? Ever? Ours has!

The time had finally come to see Trampled take one of the greatest stages in the land. “Midnight On The Interstate” kicked things off and was followed by “Walt Whitman” and face-melting “Risk”. The show was absolutely amazing, all the way through, and ended with their rendition of the Pixies “Where Is My Mind?” I’m not typically a big proponent of bands closing shows with someone else’s song, but this works, they make it their own. See the bottom of this story to watch the video I shot of this song. Also be sure to check out all of the photos from the show and pick up “Stars and Satellites”.

Trampled By Turtles
Dave Simonett of TBT
Crowd Shot
These United States
Dave Carroll of Trampled By Turtles is downright incredible on the banjo!


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