Frank Turner & Sleeping Souls, Knockdown Center, Queens NY

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Last night we headed into Maspeth, Queens to see Frank Turner's first tour in two years - what he's calling the 'Never Ending Tour of Everywhere,' in which he's going to play all 50 states in the US in 50 days. New York was the 10th date of the tour.

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The show was at a little-known venue called the Knockdown Center, which usually hosts EDM and hip hop shows. The building is a converted door factory, and it's massive - about 100,000 square feet of performance spaces and outdoor areas to hang. Pretty cool spot.

Parking in that neighborhood is a real pain in the butt, and we missed the first band. But we got to see pretty intense sets by LA punk legends The Bronx and Richmond, Virginia's Avail. The sound was a little dodgy when we were standing in the center of the room by the light board, but we were able to move off to one side and get closer to the stage for Sleeping Souls and the sound was much better there. Here's what the inside of the venue looks like.

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From the moment they took the stage, the band was on and the crowd was ready to go. The band played material from every album from across their discography (nine albums now!), and as usual the crowd sang every word to every song. Sleeping Souls shows are really fun, the crowd is the classic definition of a community, and Turner clearly loves his fans. The set featured an extended acoustic segment, a lot longer than previous shows we've seen. And even through the acoustic segment, the energy was really high and the crowd was clearly loving it.

Frank has swapped out his trusty Telecaster for an ES Les Paul on this tour, and overall the band has got much more of a rock edge to the sound - even a relatively mellow song like 'Polaroid Picture' from the Tape Deck Heart album had a rougher feel, and his standby 'Recovery' was seriously rocking.

The band finished up the set and came back for an encore which was capped off with his best known song here in the States, 'I Still Believe.' And after 90 minutes of loudly singing along, the crowd got even louder for the finale.

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If you're not familiar with Frank Turner, he's worth seeking out. He's an excellent songwriter, an engaging performer, and his band is top notch. This is an act that I'd recommend to everyone. Worth checking out.

- D
 




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