Show Review: Frank Turner 9/25

Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls, with Skinny Lister & Beans on Toast
House of Blues; Boston, MA // September 25th, 2015.
Written by Eric Riley.

Despite the commonness of the names, there’s only one Frank Turner. (Well, I’m sure there are plenty of Frank Turners, but there’s only one that matters.) ((Actually, that sounds really mean to any other Frank Turners out there, who I’m sure are fine, upstanding men. I think you get the point I’m getting at, yes?))

The weekend of the 25th was very busy for me. The span of four days contained three bus rides, two full days at a music festival, and one night at the House of Blues, all connected by a handful of rides on the T throughout Boston and with enough Diet Coke to probably be concerned over. If this sounds like complaining, I apologize – each minute was wild from start to finish, and Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls kicked it off in style.

A pair of Xtra Mile labelmates helped lead off the night, with Jay McAllister AKA Beans On Toast taking the stage first. Armed with songs written about everything from love and loss and heartbreak to the growing industry of farm-raised chickens to how terrible the South is, McAllister handled it all with a bit of charm, some fun banter, and a lot of love for what he does.

Next, London six-piece Skinny Lister made their way back to Boston, following up after an opening slot for Dropkick Murphys on St. Patrick’s Day last March. Though I was only able to catch the tail-end of their set last time around, I knew it was something I was disappointed about missing – Lorna Thomas kicking and dancing around stage, Michael Camino lifting and swinging a double bass over his head, the half-dozen members passing around an old clay jug. And that was only the last five minutes. This time around, it was the same story, but getting to check out the full performance made it much better, watching the performance grow into the rambunctious party rather than just walking in on the end of it.

With another House of Blues show the next night, as well as an in-store at Newbury Comics Sunday afternoon, Turner would have a few chances to leave another mark on Boston. Sure, there were still two more shows to go, but why waste a perfectly good Friday night?

The night started with a varied trio of songs – the racing “Get Better,” followed by “If Ever I Stray” and a full-band version of “Long Live the Queen,” which the band seems to favor more lately as opposed to the original version. It’s always interesting to see them transform the heartwrenching acoustic ballad into a fast, electric number, and though they scrap the unplugged guitars, the passion and intensity is the same, with Turner ending the song with his eyes nestled inside the inner corner of his elbow and bassist Tarrant Anderson kneeling on the ground, holding his bass upright and resting his forehead against the headstock.

Plenty of favorites, both new and old, made their way into the setlist: “Plain Sailing Weather,” “I Am Disappeared,” and “Mittens” brought roars of applause, as “Polaroid Picture,” “Glory Hallelujah,” and closer “I Still Believe” grew into full-room singalongs. In an effort to always keep the room’s energy high, Turner brought McAllister to the stage to lead the exercise routine during “Recovery,” which called for star-jumps (which are apparently what English people call jumping jacks, because that’s adorable) during the choruses. Ending the second encore on a high note, “Four Simple Words” brought the night to an end by showing respect to the music and the scene that makes everything possible.

After 1,733 shows (and yes, they keep track), how do you make Number 1,734 special? A setlist of songs from every record, a sold-out venue, and a chance to do it all again the next night seems like a promising formula. Being one of the most consistent live acts around doesn’t hurt, either. This was my fifth or sixth time seeing Frank Turner perform, and I’m doing what I do after any other time – just sitting and waiting until the next time I get to.

Set list:
Get Better
If Ever I Stray
Long Live The Queen
Out of Breath
Glorious You
I Am Disappeared
Demons
Josephine
Polaroid Picture
The Opening Act of Spring
The Ballad of Me and My Friends
Solo
Isabel
Love Ire & Song
Photosynthesis
Plain Sailing Weather
Glory Hallelujah
Reasons Not To Be An Idiot
Mittens
Recovery
The Road
The Next Storm
I Still Believe

Encore:
Recovery
The Road
The Next Storm
I Still Believe

Encore II:
The Angel Islington
The Way I Tend to Be
Try This At Home
Four Simple Words

LOL Gallery: Skinny Lister, Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls

 

Who: Skinny Lister, Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls
When: 9/25/15
Where: House of Blues; Boston, MA

By: Eric Riley

For full gallery, click here!

LOL Gallery:

Who: Brand New, Tegan and Sara, Frank Turner, Walk Off The Earth, Death Cab For Cutie, Bastille
What: Boston Calling Festival
When & Where: 5/23/14 – 5/25/14, City Hall Plaza; Boston, MA
By: Eric Riley

For full gallery, click here!

Seven Bands To See At Boston Calling: #1, The Decemberists

With Boston Calling approaching, we’ve decided to make a list of seven bands you do not want to miss. Whether they’re a headliner or an opener, whether they’re hip-hop, dance, rock & roll, or something somewhere in the middle, there are a handful of sets that you’re definitely going to want to pencil into your schedule.

On our list so far: #7. Magic Man/The Box Tiger#6. Bastille#5. Jack Johnson#4. Tegan & Sara#3. Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls, #2. Brand New

Today we talk about our #1 pick – The Decemberists!

The Boston Calling folks kept things interesting this year for their lineup announcement. First, the reveal came after a city-wide scavenger hunt for vinyl albums with the bands listed on them. After this, there was the mention that there was still one more band to come. When the BC staff swiftly denied any rumors that Outkast would be performing (sorry, Miss Jackson …), the flood of guesses and rumors began. And when the last slot on the lineup was uncovered, it took many by surprise to see The Decemberists on the list.

Not only is Boston Calling the band’s only festival slot in 2014, it will also be their first performance together since August 2011. Later that week (on the 30th), the band will be performing at a benefit in Portland, Oregon, playing their debut Castaways and Cutouts in its entirety.

Reunions are always meaningful experiences to witness. This time last year, almost exactly to the day, Fall Out Boy played the Boston date of their reunion tour. And if the massive line wrapped around the House of Blues hinted at anything, it’s this – a three-year gap is a long time for a band to be absent, and their first return to the stage is bound to be special. Whether you’re a fan or not, it’s going to be a sight to see and an experience to remember.

For fans of: Bright Eyes, Dustin Kensrue, R.E.M., The Frames, The New Pornographers
For a taste, check out: “Sons & Daughters,” “This Is Why We Fight,” “Here I Dreamt I Was an Architect”
When you can see them: Saturday, 8:10 PM

Seven Bands To See At Boston Calling: #2, Brand New

With Boston Calling exactly a week away, we’ve decided to make a list of seven bands you do not want to miss. Whether they’re a headliner or an opener, whether they’re hip-hop, dance, rock & roll, or something somewhere in the middle, there are a handful of sets that you’re definitely going to want to pencil into your schedule.

On our list so far: #7. Magic Man/The Box Tiger#6. Bastille#5. Jack Johnson#4. Tegan & Sara, #3. Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls

Today we talk about our #2 pick – Brand New!

One of the most beloved, discussed, and enigmatic acts around, Brand New have been leading the pack for nearly a decade and a half. As a group that has earned a following that borders on crazed (just ask anyone who tried getting tickets to their shows back in December or those who are already awaiting a Deja Entendu vinyl preorder), their set this weekend has potential to be massive. Could there be mention of that ever-elusive fifth album that has always been “in the works?” Will it be another full-album setlist (and if so, what if it’s Daisy from start to finish? Will the ungrateful fans flood the message boards again?)

There are a lot of questions that won’t get answered until the band takes the stage, but we can be certain of this – the fact that Brand New are playing Boston Calling is a pretty big deal. There have been fans, myself included, who have waited a while for this band to start consistently doing things again, and this weekend marks the start of a pretty substantial touring schedule that runs through the end of summer. This last winter, scalpers were selling tickets for upwards of $250 (I know, I know – that’s disgusting) for the band’s club shows. That being said, having Brand New sharing a stage with a handful of other amazing artists this weekend is just icing on the cake.

For fans of: Alkaline Trio, Saves the Day, Say Anything
For a taste, check out: “Jesus,” “The Boy Who Blocked His Own Shot,” “Seventy Times 7”
When you can see them: Sunday, 8:15 PM

Seven Bands To See At Boston Calling: #3, Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls

With Boston Calling exactly a week away, we’ve decided to make a list of seven bands you do not want to miss. Whether they’re a headliner or an opener, whether they’re hip-hop, dance, rock & roll, or something somewhere in the middle, there are a handful of sets that you’re definitely going to want to pencil into your schedule.

On our list so far: #7. Magic Man/The Box Tiger#6. Bastille#5. Jack Johnson, #4. Tegan & Sara

Today we talk about our #3 pick – Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls!
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Few do what they do as well as Frank Turner (and not having him as the #1 artist says something pretty special about the next two groups. But, we’ll get there when we get there). Backed by his band The Sleeping Souls, the group boasts an impressive balance between solo acoustic material and full-band punk anthems, making the live show an experience to be had.When he released 2013’s Tape Deck Heart (which was second to only Sara Bareilles’ The Blessed Unrest for my Album of the Year), he continued with his tradition of being one of the most honest artists around.

With English charm and endurance to match, Turner, who is always on an endless cycle of writing, recording, and touring, always brings a full performance. His current schedule has him booked internationally through the middle of September, including a last-minute addition on Sunday the 25th in Cambridge for the fans who couldn’t make it to Boston Calling, as well as taking his folk-punk brilliance out on to open water, tagging along with Flogging Molly and Gogol Bordello on the Salty Dog Cruise.

So, if you’re interested in seeing one of the best live acts around, or if you tend to get a little seasick, be sure to be planted in the crowd and don’t miss a note. Also, bring your dancing shoes, because it’s such an energetic set and you won’t be standing still (mostly because Turner makes his audience do jumping jacks during the chorus to “Recovery,” because he’s that cool.)

For fans of: Flogging Molly, the Front Bottoms, Ramshackle Glory
For a taste, check out: “I Am Disappeared,” “Substitute,” “Broken Piano,” “Four Simple Words”
When you can see them: Saturday, 6:00 PM