Let’s start with some photos… The lights on stage were not the best for taking photos from where I stood, but a few came out ok. (Click to enlarge etc.)
For a short while after the show I had thought this was my 10th “real” (full band ) Frank Turner gig . Turned out I was mistaken. And I didn’t even drink that night :-) There have been two more events – the lyrics discussion + some solo songs at LitCologne last year and of course the book event with + solo songs in London in March – which made Thursday night my 9th full band gig and all in all my show #11 of Frank’s total 1682.
Anyway, if I’d ever compile a top10 list of Frank Turner shows this might easily make the top3. Or top5 at least :-) For several reasons. Frank and the guys were great, as usual. Seriously I haven’t seen a not good show of them yet. In their eyes these shows probably happened, but it never seems like that from down in the crowd.
Den Atelier is a nice, small venue, and it seemed pretty sold out, which always helps with creating a energetic, punk, fun atmosphere. The support band Dreamcatcher was very good as well and put us all in the right singing and dancing mood.
There were a few “firsts” for me at this gig, which I want to focus on now, because otherwise this would probably turn into another one of “OMG GREAT SHOW fangirling” blog posts *g*
For the first time I had arranged – via facebook and the forum on Frank’s website – to meet a few other fans before/at the show. And it was so nice to not have to spend the time waiting before and after on my own. I’m just not the kind of person to just randomly start chatting to the folks around me. I know it’s weird and it’s something I’m working on… But being in touch *before* the actual gig, even if just via mail or text, makes it much easier for me. And it was really nice to have some nice company for the first time.
Frank played a few rarer songs, which I haven’t heared him do live before (“Hits & Mrs”, “Wisdom Teeth”) or not do live a lot (“Journey of the Magi”).
It was also the first time, I think, I’ve seen him play “Eulogy” outside of the UK but still with the original lyrics in English. The other six times I’ve seen him in Germany or Luxembourg he did it in German and once in Luxembourgish. I wonder why he decided to skip it this time.
There was no sitting down/jumping up during “Photosynthesis” which was rare as well. Except for the free festival gigs at Dudelange, Luxembourg and Cologne’s GamesCon last summer, I’m pretty sure I’ve seen this happen at all the other shows. I was so ready to do it and then it didn’t happen :-)
He also didn’t play “Ballad of Me and My Friends”, which I’ve missed singing along to, because he’s played that all the other times I’ve seen a full band show. I know he has to drop songs to make space for the new stuff, but still… that’s one I have a hard time letting go of, so I hope to see him do it again at the next gig I’m going to, whenever (in November?) that might be…
Another first for me was to see Frank crowd surfing during a gig I’ve been to. It all happened so fast during the last song “Four Simple Words” and to me it seemed definitely not planned. At least the look of the security guy in our corner to his colleague on the other side made me think, that they did not thought this would happen. Frank held onto his microphone and kept singing and the microphone cable spooled down into the crowd and I was worried for a moment that the cable might strangle someone or something. Anyway, nothing happened and it was very, very cool to see.
susannebell26 caught the moment from above.
We hung around after the show to catch Frank, which I have done twice before. Both times in Cologne and on both occasions there were less than five fans. On Thursday night there were at least 30-40 fans still around at the bus right in front of the venue. Which was cool in a way, but still another first for me. But it’s nice to see that a) I’m not the only loon who want’s to meet Frank after the gig once more and b) that Frank is still willing to do this. The venue’s security guys and Frank’s tour manager Tre got it all organized very good though and it’s not like we’re boyband groupies who want to jump him. It was all very relaxed and civilized, which I love about this group of music fans. Too bad I was too nervous once again to think of anything really interesting to say or ask him, so I just told him how much I’ve enjoyed the show and that it’s been one of the bests I’ve seen of him so far (totally true!) and asked to take a pic. Which turned out quite allright, despite previous worries. And I’m wearing my “Not Dead Yet” shirt. So maybe that’s the “first” in this regard :-)
I’ve also managed to talk to Nigel (Powell, drummer of the Sleeping Souls) for the first time as well and we also took a photo together. He is just such a nice and goofy guy.
Of course there were not just “firsts” at the gig but also “classics”: the very, very great songs and moments. The mostly acoustic version of “I Am Disappeared” sends shivers down my spine every single time! The set list still has so many songs to rock out to: “The Road”, “Reasons Not To Be An Idiot”, “Plain Sailing Weather”, “If Ever I Stray”, “Try This At Home”… And of course “Get Better”, which was sooooo much fun to sing and dance along to, especially while wearing my “Not Dead Yet” shirt.
Yeah, definitely at least top5 of my gigs so far. Can’t believe it will probably be another six months until I experience those guys on stage again. I know, I know, compared to other singers/bands who only go on tour every other year or just once in five years or so, we Frank Turner fans are a spoiled bunch. But what can I says… it’s addictive… :-)