Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls at Concord Music Hall in Chicago, IL

After not being able to tour for the best part of two years, Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls have embarked on a challenge to perform in 50 states in 50 days. 

Whenever a tour is announced, there are always people complaining that it’s not making a stop near them. This tour has got to quieten some of those remarks. While Frank Turner was prolific with his lockdown livestreams to keep both himself and his fans entertained and raise money for numerous music venues along the way, it could never be the same as catching a live performance. Especially when that live performance is by Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls

Their show in Chicago was not only their second show that day, but it was Frank’s 2659th show and number 32 of his 50 states in 50 days campaign for the aptly named Never-Ending Tour of Everywhere. In the past, we have been graced with laid back, stripped-down acoustic performances which saw Turner taking an out-of-character seat while he performed an acoustic set. Given the magnitude of this tour and the physical impact it must undoubtedly be having on them, you could be forgiven for expecting this more chilled-out format. But oh no, this was anything but that! 

It may have been a Sunday night, but the last thing on the fans who packed Chicago’s Concord Music Hall minds was the working week ahead. The energy that radiated from the stage permeated through everyone who was crammed into the venue. As Turner pointed out, terrible things have happened over the last two years but tonight was not a night to dwell on that, but a night to enjoy getting to experience live music with your friends around you and to look out for each other. There was a strong sense of community throughout the music hall, with complete strangers all brought together with a outlook. As Turner carefully orchestrated a circle pit in the middle of the floor, while also inciting everyone’s competitiveness to be the state with the largest circle, he did it in a very controlled manner as he urged them to start off slowly. 

This tour is in support of his ninth album, FTHC, so it is not surprising that the majority of the setlist was made up of songs from this latest release including “Haven’t Been Doing So Well” and “Fatherless.” However, there was a good spread of songs from across his now extensive back catalog such as “Photosynthesis” and “Be More Kind,” before the show was rounded out by “I Still Believe.”

Frank Turner’s shows are truly a marvel. The energy and passion he puts into each performance, regardless of whether it’s his first performance in months or his second show of the day, is something to behold. If you could bottle it up and sell, you’d be sitting on a goldmine. If you need some good, unadulterated fun and to get out of your head for a few hours, this is a no-brainer. Get yourself along to one of his shows pronto. 

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About Kirstine Walton 386 Articles
Kirstine moved from the UK to Chicago in 2011, and has fallen in love with the city and its music scene. She enjoys combining her two biggest passions – music and photography. If there is a band with a guitar playing, chances are she’ll be there…camera in hand. Kirstine went to her first live concert at 7 years old, and hasn’t looked back since!