Under gray skies fans leaned tightly against the brick exterior of the Ready Room on Monday night in an attempt to escape the steady drizzle. Some smoked cigarettes and riffed about music while the sounds of Chris Brokaw's sound check emanated from inside.
Tortoise and opener Chris Brokaw appeal to a passionate niche of fans that are not deterred by rain or the thought of going out on a school night. Brokaw, on electric guitar and fronted by a crescent of effects pedals, played largely instrumental tracks laced with distortion and nuanced noise. New York City based Brokaw has played in such bands as Come, Codeine, Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore and even the infamous GG Allin.
Tortoise, from Chicago, Illinois, filled the stage with two drum kits, a xylophone, synthesizers and guitars. Several of the members are multi-instrumentalists and rotated instruments throughout their high energy set. Tortoise continued to defy most musical genres while draping the venue in a soundscape that was equal parts of driving drum rhythms, melodic interludes and intertwined waveforms.
Tortoise and Brokaw are currently touring the United States throughout the summer.
Photos by Shawn Kendrick.