“In a world that has decided that it’s going to lose its mind, be more kind my friends, try to be more kind.” A simple message left for us from British rocker Frank Turner as he made his way off stage this past Friday night. A powerful set at Pantages Theater followed this simple and wonderful message. Filled with themes of love, loss, and life on the road, Frank walked us through not only the lives of others but also the life of himself.
He may not top the pop charts or be an “influencer” on social media but his impact on fans cannot be overstated. He’s a musician’s musician, a thinking being’s rocker. TCM’s Cameron Campbell had a chance to talk to Frank Turner a couple of week’s ago. You can read the interview HERE . Want more proof? We sent 1 reviewer and 1 photographer to cover this show. Yet somehow it ended up as a mini staff meeting as several more of our writers had bought tickets.
The show began with opener Kayleigh Goldsworthy, who took the stage around 7. Goldsworthy was beyond thrilled to be sharing the theater with the rest of us. Coming from a family of musicians, and playing in a band since teenage years, Goldsworthy really seems to be doing what she was born for. Her songs are filled with positive messages of moving on and remaining hopeful in times of sorrow. Much of her set came from the 2013 release of her debut album “Burrower” and the rest came from last year’s EP, “All These Miles.” In following theme with Frank Turner, Goldsworthy dedicated time in between tracks to telling the stories of her songs which produced laughs and relatable moments making for an enjoyable and well-rounded set.
After the first eight songs, Frank took a short intermission while more chairs were brought out. The full band then came out with him and they went into a spoken-word rendition of “The Ballad of Me and My Friends.” Afterward, Frank talked about what we could expect from the night. A set of storytelling was before us, with Frank walking us through many of the major events in his life and some of the things he’s learned from them. From falling in love with his now-wife to the hardships of heartbreak and life on the road, songs such as “One Foot Before the Other,” “There She Is,” and “Balthazar, Impresario” were played.
Despite the entire band sitting down, Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls still managed to move the crowd. I don’t mean emotionally (which of course they still did) but rather physically. Frank’s shows have long been known for their energy and ability to generate mosh pits, circle pits, and all sorts of other pits. When the story of Frank’s life caught up with the modern-day, he decided to make a quick pitstop in politics before hinting to the crowd they should stand up for the end of the set. This not only meant stand up but for many meant leaving the rows of seats and rushing the stage to jump and shove as close to Frank as they could. In all the theater concerts I’ve attended never have I seen a pit made my audience members, which I think just goes to show how lively musicians he and his band are. Once standing up, Frank played his hit songs “Photosynthesis,” “Recovery,” and “I Still Believe,” before ending the night with “Be More Kind.” He wanted the audience to know he’s not really one for preachy songs but if he had to leave us with a message it would be that last one.
Overall the show came across as autobiographical in the most enjoyable of ways. Songs were rearranged in order to fit the storytelling mood and it was great to walk away from the show knowing so much more about Frank and more importantly, of course, know so much more about some of the influential and powerful women to walk the world with us.