Frank Turner & the Sleeping Soul’s ‘Undefeated Tour’ in St. Pete: A simply amazing evening

Live Review

Frank Turner. Photo by Chyrisse.

By Chyrisse Tabone, Rock At Night Tampa

Live Review: Frank Turner & the Sleeping Soul’s Undefeated Tour – Amigo the Devil, The Bridge City Sinners, and Micah Schnabel and Vanessa Jean Speckman – Jannus Live, St. Petersburg, Florida – June 17, 2024

Rock At Night has been covering music in the UK for ten years. Much of the reviewed music cites Frank Turner as a pivotal influence—either they have worked with him or emulated his style. Some bands include False Heads, Harrison Rimmer, and Cory Branan. Reviews list his style of music as punk, folk, Americana, and alt-rock—all over the board.

Frank Turner. Photo by Chyrisse.

As a long-time follower of Frank Turner’s music, I’ve seen his name listed in festivals on both sides of the pond. Last year, I was just a step away from seeing him in Detroit. So, when I got wind of his upcoming performance in Florida, I knew this was a rare opportunity I couldn’t miss. 

So, in preparation, I listened to Turner’s 10th and latest album, Undefeated. It was produced in his home studio with his long-time band, The Sleeping Souls: Ben Lloyd (guitar), Tarrant Anderson (bass), Callum Green (drums), and Matt Nasir (piano). In summary, the 14-song album is a masterpiece that touches on themes such as the Pandemic (“Pandemic PTSD”), lost relationships (“Letters”), hope (“Undefeated”), the “punk is dead” narrative (“Never Mind the Back Problems), and speaking to his 15-year-old self (“Ceasefire). Once known as the “campfire punk artist,” Turner still delivers punk (“Girl from the Record Shop”), alternative rock songs, social commentary (he has a history of protest music), lovely ballads, and more. After listening to the album, I knew precisely why Turner has a following.

Libby Lux of Bridge City Sinners. Photo by Chyrisse.

On Tuesday, June 18, 2024, the Frank Turner Undefeated tour rolled into the outdoor venue, Jannus Live, with friends in tow.  The concert began at 6:30 p.m. (yes, during rush hour traffic time) with Micah Schnabel and Vanessa Jean Speckman. I didn’t arrive until the Portland band Bridge City Sinners was onstage. Billed as “not your Grandparents’ folk music,” they performed a lively show with a fiddle, stand-up bass, guitar, ukulele, and drums. Think Gogol Bordello. Being a fan of gypsy punk, I plan to check out their catalog. Libby Lux, the fuchsia-haired lead singer, danced around the stage and gave a little  “Hail Satan” after a song. Like Twin Temple, some of their musical themes revolve around the Underworld.  

Danny Kiranos AKA Amigo the Devil. Photo by Chyrisse.

Next, Danny Kiranos, AKA Amigo the Devil, appeared on stage with a full band, including his sister Katerina Kiranos on keys. The last time I saw him, he was a solo act. I could see that Kiranos has a real fan following as people danced arm-in-arm and sang the lyrics to every song—many deliciously naughty. Again, the genre is indescribable. The media seems to coin any acoustic-driven music with a fast tempo and biting lyrics as “folk punk.”

Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls came out to a smoke-filled stage with colored lights. Turner and the guys were spinning, dancing, and jumping the entire evening in 80-degree temperatures. Being Brits, they commented on the weather and probably regretted wearing long sleeves and pants to a Florida show.  

Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls. Photo by Chyrisse.

The audience jumped up and down, clapped, cheered, and sang along to the songs. Honestly, the show was magnificent, and I appreciate the music even more—after the show. It left such an impression on me that I dug deeper into the catalog and read the lyrics, which are raw and authentic. Turner writes about subjects that people only think about or cannot express. A tune that touched me was his slower, acoustic version of “Long Live the Queen,” a song about his grandmother. Other songs I enjoyed were “A Girl From the Record Shop,” “Polaroid Picture, and “The Ballad of Me and My Friends, which hit close to home. “Undefeated is uplifting, and we all lived the “Pandemic PTSD, which he aptly described.

I’d jump at the opportunity to see the show again on this tour. Turner and his band give 110% during their live show–and you’ll go home with that “afterglow.”

PHOTO GALLERY

 

SOCIAL MEDIA

Frank Turner

Bridge City Sinners

Amigo the Devil

 

Chyrisse Tabone, Ph.D.
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