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Live: Frank Turner in Grand Rapids, MI

It’s been nearly two years since punk rocks most un-punk, punk rocker, Frank Turner’s made a “Positive Songs For Negative People” tour stop in Grand Rapids, MI. Thankfully, this time around I was front & center to witness one of this generations top tier songwriters, in Turner.

Turner, who hand selects his opening acts, has brought along The Homeless Gospel Choir from Pittsburgh, PA & Columbus, OH’s Two Cow Garage. Due to Holiday traffic and some all-out piss poor timing, I was only able to catch the last two songs of The Homeless Gospel Choir’s set but it was obvious by the crowd’s response to the protest du jour that Derek Zanetti (the one and only member of The Homeless Gospel Choir) was cooking was tasty and well received.

By the time Two Cow Garage took the stage, the fashionably late Grand Rapids faithful had begun to fill in some of the holes in the audience.  Two Cow Garage used the entirety of their thirty-five minute set time to captivate the crowd with their energetic blues infused style Rock and Roll.

I’ve been a fan and ardent supporter of Turner’s for some time now, but this would be my inaugural visit to the place that he calls home.   At the stroke oh 9:00, backed by his band The Sleeping Souls, Frank Turner enthusiastically took the stage sporting an ear to ear smile which felt like some sort of unsaid communication that he was going to enjoy this as much fun as the crowd would.

Without wasting a second, Turner went right to work with I Still Believe (off of 2010’s England Keep My Bones) into The Next Storm. By song number four (Losing Days) into a two hour/twenty-five song set, the crowd had been mixed into a full lather. Knowing when to keep a good thing going, Frank & The Sleeping Souls doused a white hot fire with gas and leapt into the fan favorite, Plain Sailing Weather. It was at that moment, I realized a few things… 1) Frank Turner loves his fans and his job  2) The rave reviews about his live performances were true. 3) This was more than just a run of the mill concert, it was more akin to a communal gathering.

Thanks to Frank Turner, Two Cow Garage & The Homeless Gospel Choir for reminding me that punk rock is about more than just the music!

 

Full Set List

Full Band

  • I Still Believe
  • The Next Storm
  • The Road
  • Losing Days
  • Plain Sailing Weather
  • Try This at Home
  • If Ever I Stray
  • Glorious You
  • Breed  (Nirvana cover)
  • Polaroid Picture
  • I Am Disappeared

Frank Solo

  • Tell Tale Signs
  • The Opening Act of Spring
  • The Way I Tend to Be
  • Sister Rosetta Tharpe  (New Song)
  • The Ballad of Me and My Friends

Full Band

  • Mittens
  • Glory Hallelujah
  • Long Live the Queen
  • Out of Breath
  • Photosynthesis
  • Recovery

Encore

  • Love Ire & Song
  • Get Better
  • Four Simple Words