Reviews

REVIEW: FRANK TURNER’S LIVE PREMIERE

Tonight, Frank Turner was meant to perform here at Rock City but due to unfortunate circumstances surrounding Covid-19, the gig couldn’t go ahead. Instead, Frank Turner has decided to bring the show to you in the comfort of your own home with a livestream of his gig at Rock City back in 2016 which also saw the celebration of his 2000th show. Although we can’t be there physically to watch his gig tonight, we’ve taken this time to throw it back several years and review his 2000th show as he livestreams it on YouTube.
Livestreaming his 2000th show was an excellent way for fans to enjoy the concert from all different views. From feeling like you are on stage with Frank and the band to being deep within the pool of dedicated fans as he belts out hits from seven studio albums. Whether this be your first time, your 2000th time or even just your first time seeing him at his favourite venue you’re guaranteed to have the night of your life all from your sofa.
With a lengthy setlist it would have been easy for the dynamic to quickly fizzle out, but from start to finish with Frank’s spirit and enthusiasm the dynamic not only lasted but grew stronger. From every angle you can see nothing but a stage full of passion and an audience that matches it.

Frank having a go at crowdsurfing.

Despite being filmed back in 2016, this gig was particularly pertinent to our current circumstances in 2020 as Frank performed tracks such as ‘The Next Storm’, ‘I Still Believe’, ‘Losing Days’ and ‘Try This At Home’. These songs are super relatable to the state of our world right now with society having to self-isolate. But with this gig, Frank and the band help us forget all that with their music. While these tracks may have a certain ironic undertone in today’s climate, Frank’s heart and soul remind everyone watching at home that we will get through it. It goes to show how music never really goes out of date and will remain relevant to future situations.
Breaking up the gig, Frank performs several songs solo. He dedicates each song to important people in his life including his girlfriend, Jess, The Sleeping Souls, and everyone in the audience (to name a few). The audience’s focus is clearly on Frank and nothing else, as they sing each lyric with him word-for-word. While enjoying the gig yourself, it was refreshing to see other faces and seeing them singing along added an element of unity despite watching the gig from your own home. Inviting people to sing along if they know the words and to make them up if they don’t, there’s no doubt that Frank knows exactly how to make everyone feel like they belong.
As the gig reaches the hour mark, the rest of the band come back out on stage to join him for the final songs of the set. They kick off the rest of the gig with their track, ‘The Opening Act of Spring’. This track evokes a sense of community that you would find in a local pub where everyone knows each other. This track seems to harbour elements of traditional Irish music with various instruments contributing to the overall tone which creates a perfect atmosphere that fills the entirety of the main hall.
Frank doesn’t forget to express his love and gratitude for the Rock City staff, expressing, “The people at Rock City are some of my favourite people in the music industry, they do things the right way for the right fucking reasons.” And without a doubt the feeling is reciprocated by all of us here at Rock City.
It seems that enough isn’t enough in the eyes of Frank Turner as he exclaims that he wants to “step shit up a gear.” He invites Jay McAllister a.k.a Beans on Toast to the stage. And what a dynamic duo!! Coming on stage to the audience’s chant, he’s prepared to help the show end with a BANG! People may think they were about to witness a duet so strong and mighty that they would never forget it. But little do they know they were about to witness a WHOLE. LOT. MORE! With instructions from Frank, Jay embarks upon a “crowd surfing adventure”. This tour around the audience involves picking up two shots of whiskey from the bar, high fiving the tech guys and sharing that said whiskey shot with an audience member, all while Frank and the band perform ‘If I Ever Stay’. And the fun doesn’t stop there as the audience creates a huge pit in order to enjoy ‘Out of Breath’ well and truly out of breath.
It wouldn’t be a classic Rock City gig without a wall of death and that’s exactly what Frank wishes for. With some inspiring words on remembering what it’s like “to be opened rather than closed, friendly instead of hostile” we are reminded that we didn’t just come to some gig that we came to a Frank Turner gig at Rock City.
By this point, we’re all probably wondering how Frank and the band have any energy left. Despite this, they all went out swinging and close their 2000th show with an epic four-track encore. As everyone comes back on stage, Frank takes the time to thank the audience acknowledging that his ability to perform and have his 2000th show is all down to his loyal, dedicated fans throughout the years. He begins the encore with his “favourite song (he’s) ever written”, ‘I Am Disappeared’.

Our signed print, with a nice message from Frank.

He completes the show with his track ‘Four Simple Words’. The audience, the band and Frank dance and sing their hearts out, truly ending his 2000th show with the biggest adrenaline rush. And with the last of the energy, Frank finishes the song amongst the madness of the crowd as he crowd surfs to the centre and has one last dance with the audience.
In a time of uncertainty and anxiousness, allowing us to reminisce on his 2000th show displays his genuine character and serves as a reminder to us that in due time everything will be okay. Soon enough we will all be packed back into Rock City’s main hall as this difficult time is merely a memory behind us. Thank you, Frank.

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