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
Polaroid Picture
The Opening Act of Spring
The Ballad of Me and My Friends
Love Ire & Song
Plain Sailing Weather
Glory Hallelujah
Reasons Not To Be An Idiot
The Road
The Next Storm
I Still Believe

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!

Flogging Molly Salty Dog Cruise 2016 Announce Lineup

Want to do something more exciting with your St. Patrick’s Day weekend other than going to a bar? Well now you can! The second annual Flogging Molly Salty Dog Cruise is scheduled to set sail from March 18th, 2016, through March 21st, 2016, and will be making two stops in the Bahamas. Food, alcohol, music – what more could you ask for?!

The ports of call for the three night, four day floating festival are as follows:
Friday, March 18 – At Sea
Saturday, March 19 – Nassau, Bahamas
Sunday, March 20 – Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas (private island for Salty Dog Cruisers only)
Monday, March 21 – Arrive back in Miami

Performances include Flogging Molly, Frank Turner, and Skinny Lister, among others! You can check out the full lineup of artists performing on the cruise below! For information on rooms, tickets and everything else, click here!


Show Review:: Dropkick Murphys – Matinee Show 3/15

Dropkick Murphys
Skinny Lister
3/15/14; 2:00 pm 
House of Blues; Boston, MA.

I seem to have a tendency to work shows on very busy days in the city. A few months ago, I was down here for Game One when the Red Sox were in the World Series. Now, it’s the Dropkick Murphys, on Saint Patrick’s Day weekend, in Boston. Even with my freckled, pale-skinned heritage and the redhead I dated for a year, I’m pretty sure this is the most Irish I’ve ever felt. 

Early shows are a rare treat. With the exception of Warped Tour and festivals and such, I don’t typically get to work during the day. But getting to leave the venue and walk into 55* weather after a pretty crappy winter will certainly not draw any complaints from me.

With Boston traffic being the blessing it always is, this meant I unfortunately missed the opening sets from Lucero and Skinny Lister. But, asking around throughout the crowd, the collective opinion is that they were both pretty solid. (And thanks to some lovely fans, you can check out videos of both 
Lucero and Skinny Lister from that night!)

But, what’s out of my control is out of my control, so I couldn’t allow my mood to be completely torn down by this. And besides, there was still a band to be very eager to see.

It was about 3:00 when the chants starting picking up. And when Dropkick took the stage at around 3:25, the crowd made it clear that they didn’t wear out their energy and voices just during the intermission. 

Taking the stage bathed in blue lights and backed by bagpipes, the House of Blues erupted as hometown favorites showed their faces to a familiar stage. 

When the full lights came up, the greens and golds that the weekend’s festivities are famous for flooded the stage. 

During this batch of shows – which runs Thursday through Sunday, with two shows on Saturday, the band played 27 songs on the first night. The next day, the setlist was 27 songs again, with 22 of those being different from the first night. 

For today’s early show, they built another 27-track list, with 18 of them being songs that hadn’t been played at either previous show. 

The roar that came from the piano intro into “Tessie” was probably audible across the street in Fenway Park, and Bruins’ anthem “Time to Go” had people cheering for the black and gold while a montage of hockey brawls and goals played on the backdrop. (The Bruins won 5-1 today, too. That’s 8 in a row.)

The band utilized their banjos and acoustics guitars for a few songs near the midpoint, unplugging their set “for the little kids and the cool grandmas out there.” The lull, if you can call it that, ended soon, as they got back to their “more rowdy” stuff. 

They ended their initial set with “Dirty Water” overlapping directly into “Shipping Up to Boston,” which featured a group of stepdancers and the crowd singing every word on their own. 

They stormed the stage after a short break, leading their four song encore with “Captain Kelly’s Kitchen." 

For "End of the Night,” the band filled the stage with people pulled from the audience, turning the final two songs into a party on stage and pushing the band into the photo pit while the fans took over. 

There’s something special about witnessing a band playing a hometown show. And there’s always a certain intensity that comes along with a sold-out performance. But these two factors combined – the packed house and the group’s return to Landsdowne, along with it being a matinee show, made for an experience the likes of which I had never been a part of. And to think that they’ll be taking the same stage again in the next few hours has me wondering what else they could possibly have in store. But, whatever they have left in their tank, which I’m sure is plenty, is sure to make Boston proud. 

… Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go stab Caesar twenty-three times. Happy Idea of March, everyone.

Check out a photo of the setlist from the Matinee show below

Photo & Written By: Eric Riley