Thousands of fans as individually diverse as the music they were there to see packed The Pageant in St. Louis on Friday, December 9th, for Trampled by Turtles’ “Alpenglow Tour,” on which they were joined by Taylor Meier’s Sumbuck.

The show was highly anticipated by fans of each and both acts. It surely did not disappoint as the entire crowd was dialled in from the first chord of the opener to the encore finale of the headliner, everyone united by a mutual love for the music they were there to see and a profound respect for not only those playing it but the others there enjoying it with them. It was a spectacular display of not only the musical talent on stage but especially the reason those artists make it in the first place – the happiness it brings to those who hear it.

The Barn Media Group was joined in anticipation of this show by Trampled by Turtles’ Tim Saxhaug (bass). Tim and Chad discussed the group’s tenth studio album, Alpenglow, the tour they’re on promoting it, Jeff Tweedy’s involvement in the production of it, and more. You can listen to that interview above.

The lineup for this show was particularly interesting. Trampled by Turtles is well-renowned far and wide for their success in the folk and bluegrass worlds, but not more so than the opener’s lead singer. Sumbuck is the side project of Taylor Meier, the lead singer of Caamp, who has amassed multiple hundreds of millions of streams with just three albums over the last six years. Though overlapping in genre, the two acts brought very different fan bases out to this show yet succeeded in uniting them throughout both sets with the type of music and energy that anyone could – and should – enjoy.

Trampled by Turtles’ set started hot and didn’t let off the gas until they took their final exit off the stage. The six-piece band – mandolin, fiddle, banjo, acoustic guitar, acoustic bass, and stand-up cello – had something for everybody and a lot for all. It takes a lot of talent and even more practice to demand a crowd’s attention with as little as a single instrument, but for many long stretches of the set, that’s exactly what the crowd got. The instrumental solos were equally intimate and electrifying, and the entire crowd was bought in for every one of them. While much of the setlist included songs from the new album, it was not without fan-favorites like “Whiskey,” “Codeine,” and, of course, “Wait So Long,” which brought the show to a close before a highly-demanded encore performance – an encore for which it felt every person in the crowd had stayed for.

This was my first bluegrass show, and I’m almost saddened to know how difficult it will be for the next one to meet the expectations set by this experience. I couldn’t have greater feedback and have already shared my words of praise with everyone that will listen. Trampled by Turtles is a must-see if they’re coming through your town, and they may be! There are 16 shows left – as of now – on their calendar, and I highly recommend you make your way to one (or multiple) of them.

Author

St. Louis, Missouri based freelance music journalist specializing in all things country and rock n' roll. Host of the Show-Me Music Podcast, formerly the Arch City Music Podcast. I like music, Saint Louis University Basketball, the outdoors, and my dog.