Review: Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls at House of Blues Anaheim (10/24/2015)

Frank Turner has been on tour in the U.S. since mid-September in support of his sixth studio album Positive Songs for Negative People which was released on August 8, 2015.  By Turner’s count, his performance at House of Blues Anaheim was show number 1768.  Turner, accompanied by the Sleeping Souls, played a career-spanning set which lasted nearly two hours.  Fans joyously sang along with Turner to their favorite songs, both new and old.  The set started off with “Eulogy” from the album England Keep My Bones, and was followed by “Get Better” and the “The Next Storm” from Turner’s latest album.

When Turner was just starting to tour in the U.S., he toured as a solo artist because it was too expensive to bring the band, and their gear, on tour with him.  Turner has grown in popularity since then, and now he rarely plays a show without the Sleeping Souls.  Turner still makes a point to play a few songs solo during every show, however, and this show was no exception.  The first song he played was “The Ballad of Me & My Friends”, followed by “Imperfect Tense” which he dedicated to Mickey and Minnie Mouse before declaring “this song is about drugs”.  The Sleeping Souls then rejoined Turner to perform “The Fastest Way Back Home”.  According to Turner, he wrote the song after one of the members of the band Fake Problems informed him that he did not have any love songs which were happy all the way through.

For his performance of “Photosynthesis”, Turner asked everyone in attendance to sit down on the floor.  After some minor adjusting, nearly everyone had managed to find a space to sit, or at least crouch down.  The audience remained sitting until the final verse of the song, at which point everyone triumphantly jumped up into the air!

One of Turner’s final songs, before the encore, was “Recovery”.  Before starting the song, Turner brought out the members of Koo Koo Kangaroo who lead the audience in jumping jacks for each of the songs choruses.

Turner began a four song encore with “The Ladies of London Town”, which he performed solo.  The Sleeping Souls then rejoined Turner for “The Way I Tend to Be” and “I Still Believe”, before closing out the show with “Four Simple Words” from Tape Deck Heart.

Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls played one of the best shows I have ever had the privilege of attending.  The setlist was meticulously crafted, the crowd was couldn’t take their eyes off the stage, and Turner’s voice is better than ever!  In a few days, Turner and the Sleeping Souls will be returning to England to continue touring with Skinny Lister.  If you didn’t catch Frank Turner on tour this time around, don’t worry, he is almost always on tour and regularly tours in the U.S.

– Martin Shook

Get Better
The Next Storm
The Road
Peggy Sang the Blues
Out of Breath
Poetry of the Deed
Losing Days
Polaroid Picture
I Am Disappeared
Long Live the Queen
The Opening Act of Spring
The Ballad of Me and My Friends
Imperfect Tense
The Fastest Way Back Home
Wessex Boy
Plain Sailing Weather
Glory Hallelujah
Reasons Not to Be an Idiot
If Ever I Stray
Try This at Home

The Ladies of London Town
The Way I Tend to Be
I Still Believe
Four Simple Words

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All photos by: Martin Shook


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