It’s been almost four weeks since this Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls show in Bonn and it’s about time I write a bit more about it than just share the photos. These come first though. Of course :-)
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It’s been a great night, not primarily set-wise, even though that was a pretty good one. But mostly the people I met again or for the first time that night made it such a great show.I was once again accompanied by my friend and gigbuddy Dany and we kind of hit it off right away with some of the other people being at the venue early-ish (90 minutes or so before the doors opened). It’s nice to have or find lovely people to chat with while you’re waiting, exchanging concert and other Frank-related stories. To bond by trashing the few fans who sneakily but thus also rudely jumped the queue. There was another rude fan moment at the bus after the show, but I really don’t want to dwell on that. 99% of the Frank fans I’ve met that night and at every other show are perfectly lovely people, so…
Back to the show. Like I said, it was a good set and Frank and the band were doing a great job getting everybody dancing and jumping and having fun. I already wrote in the Stockholm recap, that I didn’t miss the old classics (Glory, Peggy) all that much and that was the same during this show. He played “Redemption”, which I’ve only heard live once before yet, so that was kind of nice.
The show happened just a few days after the Brexit referendum and before Polaroid Pictures Frank talked a bit about it. Not so much of a political statement, just stating that he and his band are touring musicians and that they will keep doing this and being on tour everywhere (in Europe). At other shows I’ve been to in 2016, the year in which we’ve already lost too many artists (Bowie, Rickman, Lemmy…) Frank asked us to “jump for….” these recently deceased artists. During that show in Bonn we were jumping for Europe!
Another lovely thought Frank always brings up, is that he wants his shows to be inclusive. To make sure we all get along with each other and look out for each other. This summer it felt like he considers this extra relevant, at least that’s what I took away from that show and the stream from Lativa I watched last night. Maybe I’m reading too much into this, but I’m with Frank in thinking that the world and society and especially politics (in the UK and the US at the moment) are too divisive and the world need a bit more of a “let’s do this thing together” spirit. So, instead of the usual “sitting down / jumping up” at the end of “Photosynthesis” Frank wanted the crowd to do a “Wall of Hugs” as opposed to the “Wall of Death” at death metal or hardcore shows. Instead of jumping against each other and moshing aggressively, he asked the crowd to run to each other, to hug each other and to dance together. Which is such a neat idea. As usually I stayed out of the circle pit and held on to the barrier at the front row, but it was still fun to watch from there. (Here is a short clip of the Wall of Hugs from a show a few days ago)
What else is there to say about the show? He played “Josephine” in a solo acoustic version, which was kind of nice to hear, because it was a new spin to it. But I still very much prefer the full band rock version, so I hope to have that back at my next show (whenever that will be). As first encore he played “The Outdoor Type” (another live first for me, yay!) because of the rainy festival summer in Germany ;-)
For “If Ever I Stray” he asked a fan – David – up to the barrier to do a crowd surf and it was so much fun, because the guy was one of those we had chatted with so long in front of the venue. He was one of us! ;-) In fact he had been the first fan at the venue and he had met Frank, when Frank had come out for a cigarette break. The really funny thing was, that David is friends with another fan, Reese, whom both Dany and I know (via social media only yet) as well. While the two of us were sitting at an Italian restaurant around the corner, Reese sent Dany the photo of David with Frank and we were a bit flabbergasted that we had missed our chance. When we got back to the front of the venue, we at least had a very good reason to start a conversation. “You’re a friend of Reese, right?” – “Ehm, yes….?” – “You’ve met Frank!” – “OMG, how do you know that?” LOL It was fun!
Anyway, Frank asked David to do the crowdsurf and David did a great job with that! And it was so typical Frank… “Where is my friend David, whom I’ve met outside just before the show? Come on up, David…” ;-) Frank himself did crowdsurf during “Four Simple Words” as usual, but it was a rather short one, probably due to the weird layout of the venue. He ran up and down along the barrier for a bit more of the song afterwards and as someone in the front row I definitely didn’t complain about that.
We hung around at the bus after show for a while and of course we were rewarded by some very nice moments with the man himself. It’s always such a joy just watching Frank taking his time and patiently and attentively interact with the folks who have been waiting for him. Chatting, signing stuff, taking photos (even a bit weird ones *g*), graciously accepting gifts and just being his lovely, adorable self.
This time I didn’t bring anything to get signed and neither did I want to take a photo again, so I was a bit afraid I would just stand around stupidly without anything to do or say. I somehow got roped in taking photos of my old and new friends with Frank, so that kept me busy. Then I kind of hijacked a chat he had with my friend (Sorry again, Dany) about the “History Is Important” T-Shirt. This led to a chat about him cleaning out his storage and him planning to do another auction of his stuff for a charity. Which is amazing, I think. Maybe next time there even will be an item I might be interested in. We’ll see. Anyway, it was nice to be able to chat with Frank about something else than just say “Thanks for the great show”. I was surprised about myself how calmly I managed to talk to him about some other rather random topic.
I haven’t met Frank since the Hamburg shows in January so I wasn’t sure if he would remember or recognize me five months later. I had hoped he would, of course, but being me, I was leaning towards “probably not!” Yes, I know it’s a bit pathetic – and fangirl-y to the point – to even care about something like that. Because why would it matter one way or the other? But what can I say, I’m just wired that way. Frank seemed to be in a hugging mode that night, which I very much approved off, because then I didn’t have feel so bad about imposing a hug on him, which I had tended to do on previous occasions :-) Even after hugging and chatting I still wasn’t sure if he in any way knew who I was, but according to my friend, it definitely looked like he remembered me and also that he was happy to see me. So, I’ll just go with that. For now. Not that it really matters, but it’s still nice to know, right?
This was my 19th Frank Turner show and I think I might have to plan something special for show #20. He will do a UK tour later this year, so maybe I should pick one of those dates for my anniversary show? I’ll have some more weeks to figure that out I think, as he hadn’t announced any dates yet. But I’m very tempted….