Date: November 27th 2013
Opening Bands: Koo Koo Kanga Roo, The Smith Street Band
Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls made a stop at Terminal 5 in NYC the day before Thanksgiving. Traffic and mass transit have been chaotic the last 2 days so wasn’t sure how crowded the show was going to be. The third level of the club wasn’t open but the rest of the venue was filled with fans. Regardless of who was there or not, the show was a good time, which is usually the case for a Frank Turner show.
I hate going to shows at Terminal 5 because it’s practically on the West Side Highway, and each subway line is 15 minute (plus) walk to the venue. It’s not bad for drivers though but parking is pricey. Thankfully the rain was dying down a bit and wasn’t that bad of a walk. If it was nasty out, I’d probably get a cab.
The first band of the evening was quite an interesting one, Koo Koo Kanga Roo from Minnesota. I really thought I was going to absolutely hate these guys but ended up enjoying their set a lot. They are like rap version of The Aquabats, well minus the costumes. I guess headbands and gym shorts can be considered costumes? They have dance/rap tunes about unicorns, sharks, and riding in minivans. I have no idea if I’d like these guys on a studio album because they are a group you need to see live. They come out dancing to 90s dance music and do exercises, ham it up for the cameras and are just funny to watch. I’d imagine Koo Koo Kanga Roo aren’t taking themselves seriously and you shouldn’t either. Just go in with an open-mind.
The Smith Street band came on next and they hail from Australia. Their style is folk punk and had a lot of energy on stage. I didn’t know any of their songs but they were another band I enjoyed watching. Towards the end of the set, Jeff Rosenstock from Bomb The Music Industry came out to sing a song. I don’t have anything else to add except they were good.
Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls took the stage and Frank wasn’t sporting an acoustic guitar on this tour. He hurt his back and doctors told him to not play one for awhile so he was just singing. He was jumping about and moving around a lot so not sure that’s on doctor’s orders either. Either way makes for better photos. They started things off with “Photosynthesis,” which they use to play later in the set. I always love hearing that one since it’s one of the early Frank Turner songs I listened to. That was followed by “Plain Sailing Weather” and “Peggy Sang The Blues.” The later was one of my favorites off his previous album.
Other highlights of the night include: “Glory Hallelujah,” “The Way I Tend To Be,” “The Ballad of Me and My Friends,” “The Road,” “If I Ever Stray,” “I Knew Prufrock Before He Was Famous” and “Recovery.” From the new album, “The Way I Tend To Be” and “Recovery” are the best and perhaps Turner’s best tracks to date. “Broken Piano” ended the set and while it didn’t stick out on the album, it certainly did live. Frank came back for the encore, with an acoustic guitar and told everybody not to tell the doctors. On the tour, he said he was covering regional artists and ended up covering Bruce’s “Thunder Road” again. I saw him play that song at the last show I saw and it’s still awesome to hear! The final two songs of the evening were “I Still Believe” and “Four Simple Words.” Two excellent songs to rock the house with and make us want more! I’m sure Frank will be back in no time. Frank Turner is an artist you need to see live. Learn his lyrics, dance, sing along and lose your voice.
Here’s a bit of highlight of the evening, see the rest of the photos over at SkaPunkPhotos.com.
Koo Koo Kanga Roo
The Smith Street Band
Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls