Article and Photos by Andrés Alvarado
Folk-punk Englishman Frank Turner brought a few things with him to Atlanta for his stop of the Be More Kind World Tour. Naturally, his energetic band-mates, The Sleeping Souls, but also a swig a humor, a shot of political common sense, a few tricks up his sleeves for a couple of mega-fanatics, and, of course, all the energy in the world to compliment his rockabilly thumpers and fantastic showmanship.
Known for the numeric labeling of each passing show, Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls used concert number 2187 to pass by Atlanta and rock the living mess out of it. Taking on a jam-packed Tabernacle venue is no small feat, but Turner and co. made the evening seem like a walk in the park. Are you having a nice time?, asks Turner to a pumped-up crowd – the answer, of course, being yes. Well, that’s a great a start! – exclaims Turner. From this moment forth the environment just got rowdier and louder, just like these Brits intended. On stage, Turner is not the only one gathering attention, as the Souls one by one carry notable attributes. Guitarist Ben Lloyd is not only a shredding monster in a blazer, but also a dude that wears his heart on his sleeve and sashays the dais like a madman on a mission. Bassist Tarrant Anderson mainly stays put in his reserved space to Turner’s left, but oozes of cool with his unorthodox spastic mannerisms, while producing the night’s heaviest vibrations. Organist Matt Nasir‘s dry wit brings about chuckles, while his keys bring about that added tunage to make onlookers wanna twist-n-shake. Finally drummer Nigel Powell may sit idly in the background, but manufactures that oomph that takes each anthem to its highest level.
Are you having a very nice time?, asks a confident Turner as he slings out jam after jam midway through the evening. Prior to delving into smash-hit “If I Ever Stray,” Turner takes a minute to acknowledge a couple of mega-fans that just so happen to be twins, and just so happen to be celebrating a birthday. Turner, being the jokester that he is, requests that during the band’s hit, each twin commence crowd-surfing on opposite ends of the dais, meet in the far-back middle, jointly take a selfie mid-air, and then finalize their journey on the opposite ends of the stage. Just like that, Turner gave these brothers a night they will soon not forget.
Are you having an extra nice time?, asks Turner for a third and final time to boisterous cheers. Navigating through an extensive discography, Mr. Turner and the gang play for keeps for roughly two hours. Among the presentation’s remaining highlights are Turner’s energetic crowd-surfs during banger “Four Simple Words;” that ended in Turner slow-dancing with one lucky fan, a pristine light show that marveled, and Turner’s speeches that bordered on a lighthearted call to have bipartisan folks sit down and talk, like normal fucking people.
A Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls affair is not for fragile ears, nor for space sensitive patrons. It’s a noisy, mosh-pit inducing, jump up-n-down but be nice to your neighbor sweaty shindig. There are only three rules when attending a Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls ceremony, 1.- Don’t be an asshole, 2.- Make sure your version of fun isn’t stopping other fans from having fun, and 3.- Have a fucking blast. So, if this sounds particularly fun to you, and it should, then be sure to catch these sons of England and their ongoing Be More Kind World Tour when it rolls to a venue near you. Information here. Cheers!