This week in music: Trampled by Turtles 10th year shows; REO, Styx & Nugent 'Express' rolls in


Duluth bluegrass band Trampled by Turtles will continue celebrating its 10th anniversary this week with three shows at First Avenue in Minneapolis Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The band is currently on a mini tour of Minnesota, which kicked off earlier this month in Duluth.

After Minneapolis, the band will play Rochester, Grand Rapids and Baxter on May 7, 8 and 9, respectively, before wrapping up May 10 in Moorhead. On May 28, the band will embark on a slew of European dates.

Trampled by Turtles got a mixed review from the Chicago Tribune for a January show in the Windy City.

Noting the "burgeoning acoustic quintet strummed and scraped strings with the swiftness and intensity of a speed-metal band," the Tribune also called the show uneven.

The Tribune said at their best, Trampled by Turtles "tamed galloping tempos by pairing them with catchy hooks and three-part harmonies," but added, "virtuosity couldn't always compensate for predictability."

Trampled by Turtles fared a little bit better in a review of a January tour stop in Lawrence, Kan., where the Kansas City Star said the band whipped "a packed house into various stages of fervency and invigoration."

Still, the Star knocked lead vocalist and founder Dave Simonett, saying his voice is "handsome and polished, almost too much." The Star also added that if the band's "sound could use more of anything, it's some splinters and grit."

Also this week, a trio of legendary rockers from the 1970s and '80s roll into the Twin Cities on a tour they are dubbing the Midwest Rock 'N' Roll Express.

REO Speedwagon, Styx and Ted Nugent will play a triple bill Friday night at Target Center in Minneapolis.

REO has recorded such power ballads as "Keep on Loving You" and "Can't Fight This Feeling," while Styx’s hits include "Come Sail Away," "Blue Collar Man" and "Renegade." Nugent — also known as the Motor City Madman — has recorded such hits as "Cat Scratch Fever" and "Wango Tango."

While the current tour kicks off Thursday in Grand Forks, N.D., the bands have revved up the Midwest Rock 'N' Roll Express before.

In a review of a St. Louis tour stop last June, found a mixed bag with the performances. The critic said she wasn't impressed with show opener Nugent and was expecting expected "a lot more action and intensity than what he delivered." The reviewer reacted to Styx more favorably, but noted that a "variety of songs would have put it over the top."

The critic had nothing but praise for headliner REO, saying the band was "interactive both with the crowd and each other, which, for the age of the band, was surprising and extremely entertaining." on the other hand, had nothing but praise of all three acts after a concert in Cleveland last July. The review said Nugent had the "rock and roll advantage" during the show, but "Styx and REO Speedwagon demonstrated that they could more than hold their own."

Also coming to Minnesota this week is singing legend Johnny Rivers ("Poor Side of Town," "Where Have All the Flowers Gone"), who will play at Treasure Island Casino in Welch on Saturday.

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