SHOW GALLERY + RECAP: Frank Turner's '50 Shows in 50 Days' Tour in Boston, MA
I have been listening to Frank Turner for exactly half of my life.
It’s a weird thought, maybe even weirder to think that Frank’s opening set for Social Distortion in 2010 was one of the first big concerts I remember seeing, and in many ways a catalyst for me to find my way here, emailing Frank to see if I can cover one of his gigs.
While quite a bit has changed in those 12 years, I still love a good live show over practically anything else, and on this tour Frank intends to deliver just that to all 50 US States in 50 days. This feat will add to his already impressive count of live shows which has crept steadily into the thousands since beginning to tour with his band, The Sleeping Souls. So, let’s talk a bit about show #2633 in Boston, MA.
First up for the night was Colchester-based punk group, Pet Needs. The group brought a set jam packed with their own personality and punk aesthetic, including songs like “Tracey Emin’s Dead” and “Punk Rock Isn’t Dead; It’s Just Up For Sale”. In addition to a strong musical showing, their energy on stage was infectious and quickly got the crowd to their feet. I truly enjoyed their set from top to bottom, and I’m beyond excited to see them share their talents stateside on this tour.
Next up, the Bronx. To say it simply, The Bronx just make great punk music. Attack-heavy guitar riffs and hardcore drum beats perfectly matched the energy of frontman Matt Caughthran’s hardcore vocals. Their set was filled to the brim with guitar solos, chantable lyrics, and lots and lots of solid moshing opportunities (midway through their set, Caughthran even stepped into the pit himself to join in on the fun). The Bronx performance was filled with the raw energy I’ve come to love in a good punk show, and gave me a great excuse to hop in the mosh pit myself (camera in hand, not my brightest choice).
Joining the tour in Boston was the Richmond-native punk group, Avail. After a live performance hiatus from 2007-2019, Avail is back up and running with no intentions of slowing down. Packing as powerful a punch as ever, Avail brought their iconic punk sound and lyrics to an extremely receptive crowd in Boston. A big highlight of Avail’s set for me was seeing hype man Beau Butler in action. Donning foam middle fingers and wrestling masks, Butler ran circles around the stage getting the audience moving alongside him. Without a doubt the group only added to the already buzzing atmosphere of the show, and got the stage plenty warm for Frank’s set.
Frank Turner began his the set alone, singing the opening lines of “Four Simple Words” as The Sleeping Souls filed in behind him. With a perfect mix of folk and punk influence, Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls played an extremely tight set overflowing with energy, only to be matched by the crowd in front of them.
Over the course of the evening Turner was able to span almost his entire discography, featuring new tracks from his most recent studio album, FTHC, and older hits from Tape Deck Heart, England Take My Bones, and Be More Kind. In many ways, his set demonstrated his ability to cultivate a community around his words and his sound. From young kids up on the balcony to the punks in the pit, everyone in the audience seemed to have a song (or many in some cases) that they felt deeply and wholly connected to. Frank Turner’s songwriting seems designed to do just that; by speaking on his loves, his losses, and every messy in-between, he finds a way to connect to each individual who comes across his work.
I haven’t left a show without my voice in a very long time, but I’m beyond happy to have broken that streak at this show. Any shred of professionalism I had was thrown to the wind during Frank’s set, and was quickly replaced with the sheer joy of screaming your heart out to tracks like “Get Better”, “Punches”, and “I Still Believe”, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
And so ended show #2633, state #6, and day #5 of Frank Turner’s whirlwind trip. If you haven’t been following Frank Turner’s journey to play every US State in 50 days, I highly suggest hopping over to his socials and checking it out, there’s a pretty big chance he’ll be playing in a city near you.
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