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DS Exclusive: Frank Turner plays his biggest North American show to date, w/Arkells, The Bouncing Souls (Boston, MA)

Frank Turner wound down the North American touring run in support of his 2015 full-length, Positive Songs For Negative People, in a big, big way; by headlining the Agganis Arena in his adopted American hometown of Boston, Massachusetts. Turner has played the greater Boston area an awful lot over the last decade, and this particular night, Turners 2031st show as a solo artist, marked his biggest headlining show in the Western Hemisphere to date. It doesn’t exactly reek of journalistic credibility to insert yourself and your outlet into a story, but, well, this is 2017 America. Here at Dying Scene, we’ve covered Frank Turner perhaps more extensively than most other artists over the last half-dozen years, and in some ways Dying Scene’s increase in readership has mirrored Turner’s own increase in listenership on this side of “the pond.” It’s not a 1-to-1 causal relationship, mind you, just a reflection on our similar paths; we’ve caught up with him at record store performances and small club shows and large club shows to opening for bands like Dropkick Murphys and manning afternoon sets at larger festivals. So it was with great pleasure (and perhaps more than a little pride) that we got the chance to take in the events of the evening as Turner and his high-powered backing band, The Sleeping Souls, did their best to blow the roof off the not-quite-capacity 7200-seat arena located on the campus of Boston University.

Okay, back to the regularly scheduled, full-journalistic-integrity portion of the recap. Turner took the stage promptly at 9:20pm accompanied by only an acoustic guitar and started in alone on the first few verses of his newest track, “The Sand In The Gears,” before being joined by the remainder of the Sleeping Souls (Ben Lloyd on guitar, Nigel Powell on drums, Tarrant Anderson on bass and Felix Hagan, filling in for new father Matt Nasir on keys/mandolin/tambourine/etc) for the song’s group singalong outro. From there, as you might imagine the bulk of the set’s remaining twenty songs drew from Turner’s three most recent — and most popular — albums; Positive Songs…, 2013’s Tape Deck Heart, and of course, 2011’s breakthrough, England Keep My Bones, though even half-dozen older tracks turned in to rousing, full-audience singalongs as well. Frank Turner fans are notably passionate and rowdy, and the increased scope of the venue didn’t seem to invite very many casual fans; yours truly did several laps around the floor and the seating areas and found nary an ass in their proverbial seat for the bulk of the evening.

No doubt because of his increased popularity in Europe, but Turner didn’t seem overwhelmed by the size of the venue; appreciative and in awe, maybe, but not overwhelmed. While Turner’s roots remain very firmly planted in his love of punk and hardcore and metal, the energy that Turner and his band have always played with are perfectly suited to play to the very back of even the largest venue, performing as though it’s their duty to keep even those in the cheap seats out of their…well…seats. Before the night was over, the set would feature a full-venue “wall of hugs” (think a metal show’s ‘wall of death,’ only with much less death), opener Will Varley circling the venue and selfie-ing with the people in the top of the back row before taking a celebratory Jameson shot with Turner, and the frontman himself crowd-surfing for the bulk of show-closer “Four Simple Words.” As Turner himself pointed out, some of these efforts might seem like (and were, in fact) typical arena rock frontman hijinks, but they have an effect of engaging everybody in the process. Rock shows are, by definition, communal, celebratory events, and Turner and his mates have perfected the art of taking their responsibility to the audience seriously while conversely not taking themselves too seriously at all.

New Jersey punk veterans The Bouncing Souls served as direct support for this particular night, their only night on the Frank Turner tour, and their first Boston show since the release of their 2016 full-length, Simplicity. The Souls have conquered stages across the globe for more than a quarter-century, so they certainly seemed right at home on the Agganis’ large stage. The band ripped through eighteen songs in their forty-ish minute set, kicking things off with “That Song,” from 2001’s How I Spent My Summer Vacation. From a strictly sonic perspective, straight-forward one-guitar punk rock doesn’t necessarily translate well to a large hockey arena, as the sound tends to come across as loud and muddy. That seemed to be the case for the first half of the Souls’ set on this night, although things certainly improved from there. And the four-piece certainly had more than their fair share of amped up fans in attendance, with traditional favorites like “Sing Along Forever,” “Anchors Aweigh,” “Lean On, Sheena” and, of course, “True Believers,” inspiring gang chantalongs from all points (the latter featuring an unannounced, stealth-style on stage appearance from Boston punk legend Mike McColgan on guest vocals).

Arkells had been touring alongside Turner on the bulk of this run, and while they weren’t direct support on this particular evening, they certainly could have been. The Hamilton, Ontario-based five-piece hit the ground running from the first notes of set-opener “A Little Rain (A Song For Pete).” This is the first time that Arkells have graced the pages of Dying Scene, and their power-pop sound is outside the traditional scope of Dying Scene’s coverage spectrum, but their high energy, politically-charged set filled with positivity and unity was perfect for the evening’s overall theme. Arkells frontman Max Kerman rivals Turner’s own energy, and he had propelled himself onto the railing and into the crowd before the first chorus of the set’s aforementioned first song. If you’re a fan of Turner’s brand of arena folk-rock (and we are) and have a penchant for modern rock radio bands like Twenty One Pilots and Catfish and the Bottlemen, give them a Google.

With apologies to show-opener and frequent Turner tour mate Will Varley, the scope of the setting and the check-in procedure contained therein meant that yours truly missed the photo op portion of his set, though the latter half of his set that we did catch (especially “Talking Cat Blues”) were especially well-received be the vocal crowd. We’ll catch you next time, Will; promise.

Check out our full photo gallery below.


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Music
Lincoln (Emo) stream debut EP “A Constant State of Ohio”

Cincinnati, Ohio based emo/alt-rock-punk blend Lincoln is currently streaming his debut EP, titled “A Constant State of Ohio.” You can listen to it below.

“A Constant State of Ohio” was released on January 27 via I Surrender Records. The EP features Brett Romnes of I Am The Avalanche on drums, and guest vocals from Gary Cioni formerly of Crime in Stereo and Daytrader.


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Tour
Touche Amore announce Australian tour with Turnover

California post-hardcore outfit Touché Amoré have announced a tour of Australia, and will be bringing Virginia Beach emo quartet Turnover along with them. The tour is set to start in Brisbane on July 5th.

The tour will be in support of Touché Amoré’s new album Stage Four, which was released September 16, 2016 through Epitaph Records. Local supports have not yet been announced, tickets will go on sale on February 24th at 9:00 AM AEDT and can be purchased here. You can find tour dates and locations as well as a larger tour poster below.


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Music
Kid Liberty stream new track “10 Years,” first new music in years

Texas punks Kid Liberty are streaming a brand new track titled “10 Years.” You can listen to the song below.

“10 Years” is the first track Kid Liberty has released since 2012, having gone on hiatus. They are set to play So What?! Music Fest in Texas, which will take place between March 24th and 26th.


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Video
Music Video: LEXT – “Please Don’t Wait”

Melodic punk act from Tokyo, Japan LEXT have premiered a music video for their track “Please Don’t Wait.” You can watch it below.

The track comes from their latest album, titled “END OF THE SUMMER,” which was released on September 7, 2016 via I Hate Smoke Records, and will also be featured on the upcoming Maximum-10 Records compilation album “MAYDIE 2.”


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Music
FYPM (Hardcore) stream track “Dumbed Down” from upcoming LP

Cleveland, Ohio hardcore punks FYPM (Fuck You Pay Me) are currently streaming the track “Dumbed Down,” which comes from their upcoming release of the same name. You can listen to it below.

“Dumbed Down” will be dropping on March 24, and will be released via Tankcrimes Records.


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Music
Shizune (Italian Screamo) stream new album “CHEAT DEATH, LIVE DEAD!”

Italian screamo/post-hardcore band Shizune are currently streaming their new album titled “CHEAT DEATH, LIVE DEAD!” via their Bandcamp page. You can listen to it below.

Shizune’s last release was Le Voyageur Imprudent which was released on March 2, 2015. The new album is self produced, with the band stating that: “DIY is something we truly believe in and it has always accompanied us during these years.


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Video
Music Video: After The Burn – “Paradise Hell”

Ocean County, NJ based punk-rockers After The Burn have premiered a music video for their track “Paradise Hell.” You can watch the video below.

“Paradise Hell” comes from the band’s latest release, EP “Frustrate on Repeat,” which was released January 27. “Frustrate on Repeat” follows their last release, “The Eternal Embrace EP” which was released April 3, 2015.


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Tour
Streetlight Manifesto announce “Somewhere in the Between” 10th anniversary tour

Ska-punk veterans Streetlight Manifesto have announced a US tour celebrating the 10th anniversary of their album Somewhere in the Between. Check out the tour dates below to see if there’s a show near you.

Here’s what the band had to say about the tour and their other plans for 2017:

“Every night on this tour will include every single song from SITB, plus a bunch of other songs from our other albums and a few b-side type cuts (since, as you know by now, we play long ass sets). Yes, EVEN BLONDE LEAD THE BLIND, for which we apologize in advance.

If you’re foolish enough to think that that’s all we have up our sleeves for 2017, then you are truly a foolish fool who thinks relatively foolishly. YOU FOOL. Expect more announcements in the coming months, of varying degrees of relevance and significance.”

It’s been 4 years since Streetlight released their latest album The Hands That Thieve. Could one of those announcements in the coming months be a new record? We’ll keep you posted.


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Video
Music Video: Fantastico (Texas Pop-Punk) – “He Stays Or I Go”

Texas pop-punk act Fantastico have released a music video for their song “He Stays Or I Go.”

You can check it out below.

“He Stays Or I Go” comes from the bands’ latest self titled EP that was released on January 12th, 2017.  You can give that a listen on their Bandcamp.


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FREE
Die Hexe (Toronto hardcore punk) stream new album “Coven”

Toronto hardcore punk act Die Hexe are streaming their new mini-album Coven in its entirety.

You can give it a listen below, and if you like what you hear, the band is offering the whole thing as a pay what you want download.

Coven was released on February 11th, 2017.


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Video
Music Video: Contradiktion (Arizona Punk) – “Make It On My Own”

Arizona punk act Contradiktion have released a music video for their song “Make It On My Own.”

You can check it out below.

“Make It On My Own” comes from the bands’ upcoming album Self Made Disaster which is set to be released in May.


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