Turnstile’s new album and the tour they brought through Minneapolis on Friday night was called “Turnstile Love Connection” and that describes my Friday night perfectly. There was something in the air as my boyfriend, brother and I entered The Varsity Theater that just made my heart soar but I honestly couldn’t put my finger on it and still haven’t quite figured it out. Now that I’ve slept on it, all I can chalk it all up to is the diversity that the line-up and a band like Turnstile brings to the table and that’s all that it needs to be.
Kicking things off on this epic tour was Truth Cult- a band I knew nothing about when walking through the door but instantly fell head over heels for. Although the first of a stacked five-band line-up that was sure to last long into the night, Truth Cult didn’t hold back and gave the quickly growing audience everything they had in a perfect way. It was as if walking into their sound instantly made everyone forget about anything that had plagued them throughout the week. Although I got the feeling that not many people were familiar with Truth Cult’s sound or music, that didn’t stop the audience from getting rowdy and I was elated to see a pit had formed almost instantly. I knew the night was going to be full of energy and that every band would be treated with an undeniable sense of respect which added to the whole “love connection” feeling of the night.
Second up was New York-based Ekulu. Another band that I knew nothing about upon walking into the show yet they instantly caught my attention, Ekulu brought a very traditional style of hardcore but with their own twist to the stage which spoke to my heart. During their set, I realized it had been so long since I had experienced a hardcore show and it made me realize just how much I had missed it. Although every song was spent with the growing crowd getting sweatier and sweatier, each song was followed by a roar of applause. Ekulu has only been around for a few years but if they keep up what I saw them present on Friday night, they will absolutely be going places. It was a perfect set that sold not only me but probably every other person in the audience that had never heard of them before.
The last time I saw Ceremony was back in February 2020. You know, before the world went to, well, shit. I remember being overly impressed with the band that night but wanting so much more from the audience so I was anxious as I waited for this band to take the stage and to see how the already rowdy crowd was going to respond. Ceremony is not a new band at all. They have been around since 2005 and although they absolutely have a cult-like following, I feel like they have never gotten the recognition they deserve. Their sound is all over the place. It can most easily be shoved into the post-punk box of things but there are undeniable elements of everything from grindcore to garage rock to new wave to indie-rock (I could go on but I’ll stop) throughout their music. Thankfully, the crowd was not as subdued as they had been a couple of years ago when I saw Ceremony. I loved watching how Ceremony’s unique music hit everyone around me in a different way. Some people were pumping their fists, some were pushing and shoving their way through the set while others were just standing there and letting the music take over their body and soul. Although every band on the massive line-up on Friday was great, it was Ceremony’s set that was honestly my favorite just due to the sheer power that this band has.
Although Citizen seemed to stand out from the rest of the bands on the line-up due to their more rock-based sound, their energy matched the previous bands perfectly. Another band that I have had the honor of seeing previously and had already left more than satisfied and impressed with their set, Citizen powered through song after song and invited the audience to join them (shocker, the audience did). Although their sound was overall a bit lighter than everything else, the audience didn’t hold back and showed Citizen the same respect that they had shown the other bands which, again, just added to the “love connection” theme of the night. Citizen is not a new band in any way. They have been around since 2009 and have released four amazing full-lengths along with an EP, a few splits, and other miscellaneous tracks and are really finding their groove now. I truly hope that this tour is the one that puts them over the edge and makes this band a household name like they should be.
Leading this epic tour was Turnstile from Baltimore, Maryland and to say that they destroyed the venue from the moment they took the stage would not be a stretch. I mean, nothing got physically destroyed (although I’m sure some people are feeling a bit sore this morning) but the amount of power and energy Turnstile brought to the stage and audience was staggering. Although I feel like this band has changed a bit over the past twelve years, it’s all good changes as they really hone in on their style that really can’t be put in a single box. Much like the other bands of the line-up, you can easily call these guys a hardcore band but, when you break it down, it’s so much more than that and I think that’s what is key to Turnstile’s huge success over the years. The way they are able to pull so many people from different worlds into the world that is Turnstile and keep them happy while exposing them to new sounds and vibes is what this band is all about and I was honored to witness that all happen on the stage and on the floor in front of me. Much like during Ceremony’s set, I thoroughly enjoyed watching the way this music had a different effect on everyone around me while still clearly affecting everyone.
Turnstile did a great job of curating their nearly twenty-song set. Kicking it off with their newest hit “Mystery” which, although a great song, is not one of my favorites from them, Turnstile let the audience see every side of the band in the perfect light. With very few breaks and that staggering amount of energy reigning supreme throughout their set, I felt like I wanted so much more from Turnstile but absolutely got my money’s worth. Closing their set with “T.L.C. (Turnstile Love Connection)” was just the icing on the cake for this show. It left the audience on a positive yet energetic note.
It has been a while since I have done a review on such a massive tour and I know that I forgot some of the amazing moments that made up my Friday night but I was too busy getting lost in the music and perfect energy to take notes. It was one of those shows that honestly forced me to just stand there and take it all in as a fan, not just as a journalist. Overall, that was my favorite thing and my takeaway from the Turnstile Love Connection tour.