Sometimes when a band comes through your town several times a year, going to see them each time they're playing a local venue can lead you to burning out on them. They play the same setlist, have the same moves, say the same in-between-song banter… you find yourself need a break in order to miss them a little bit so you can appreciate them the next time they come around. This is not the case with Frank Turner.
Turner has played New York City several times in the past few years. I have attended quite a few of these gigs and last night at his Bowery Ballroom show, I realized that he's managed to top himself every time. He does have a staple setlist, but luckily for his devoted followers, he changes it up nearly every night for variety. He may have a few tricks up his sleeve that he may employ to get the room going each time, but he mainly goes with the flow of the crowd that night, feeding of whatever energy they throw at him. Each time I've seen his show, it seems there is more intensity in the air than the last time I saw him play. With each show, fan loyalty has grown stronger and the singalongs louder.
Opening with "I Am Disappeared" Turner and his backing band, the Sleeping Souls, played fan favorites like "Peggy Sang The Blues", "If Ever I Stray", "The Real Damage", "I Still Believe", "Long Live The Queen", "Photosynthesis" and "Four Simple Words." Though his crowds can always be counted on to shout the words back to him and remain vocal throughout his set, the room stayed completely silent during his cover of Leonard Cohen's "Chelsea Hotel No.2". Anyone who so much as laughed or said one word was hushed up by a neighboring fan. This is a rare occurrence at rock shows, given that people seem to prefer drunk chattering to paying attention when a quieter number is played. But somehow last night's crowd was particularly well behaved. Clearly New Yorkers have learned to appreciate Turner's talents, and know that every single word and note is worth listening to.
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