Where the Bands Are (Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls + Dropkick Murphys, 4 February 2020)

“Who would have thought that after all, something as simple as rock ‘n’ roll would save us all.”

Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls + Dropkick Murphys, 4 February 2020, Kajskjul 105, Gothenburg.

Right from the top, the event’s “special guests” (and one of the main reasons I bought myself a ticket), Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls are full of energy. They rip through a spirited 16-song set of new and old favourites. The entire band are incredibly engaging and animated on stage and Turner is doing a great job of connecting with the crowd. I hadn’t expected anything less, though, after listening to the latest release, Live 2000 (2019).

Frank Turner is truly a captivating frontman. He is constantly moving and communicating with the crowd, encouraging them (us) to singalong and to pogo and we do as we are told. He urges us to form a circle pit and dance around clockwise. Suddenly he makes a daring stage dive and there is a critical moment when he is almost dropped by the surprised recipients. Luckily, he crowdsurfs back to the stage in one piece. At the end of the set he jumps down on the floor in front of the stage to dance with a girl in the audience.


The Boston band, Dropkick Murphys’ set opens with a mighty and intriguing rendition of The Lonesome Boatsman as the band enter the stage. The Boys Are Back comes next and the crowd is fist pumping, jumping around and loudly chanting the song’s looping line “The Boys are Back” along with the band, whipped into a frenzy. Wise from seeing the band two years ago I keep a little to the side to avoid being smashed in the mosh pit right in front of the stage.

Throughout the gig the singers, Ken Casey and Al Barr, take turns singing (growling) as they feverishly crisscross the stage, interchangeably. Casey occasionally stops to fist bump the first row, while Barr delivers his classic rock pose – one foot on the loud speaker while singing with a grim face. 👇

The newly released single Smash Shit Up (2020) represents just about everything you can expect from these Celtic punk rockers and so does the show, which is super professional with a setlist containing a healthy mix of old and new.

Regrettably, the quality of the sound is not the best, making it hard to hear the lyrics sometimes, especially when Barr is singing. Putting that aside, it’s a solid, loud act and towards the end (after about an hour) a few of their biggest hits are played.

The show closes characteristically with the song Until Next Time, where fans are invited to join the band on stage to sing with them. Flanked by fans of all ages, the band wrap their set among a sea of ecstatic Dropkick devotees.

“We’ll meet again/Don’t know where, don’t know when/We all had a good time/And we’re sad to see it end”

To conclude, it was a great night out in Gothenburg, despite the cold weather and the crappy venue (an old warehouse, which was formerly used to store bananas). Both bands delivered genuinely good sets and I really want to see Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls again, preferably as main act.


Frank Turner – setlist

  • Get better
  • 1933
  • The Lioness
  • Try This at Home
  • If Ever I Stray
  • Photosynthesis
  • Plain Sailing Weather
  • Long Live the Queen
  • Jinny Bingham’s Ghost
  • Eulogy
  • The Next Storm
  • The Road
  • Out of Breath
  • Recovery
  • I Still Believe
  • Four Simple Words

Dropkick Murphys – Setlist:

  • The Lonesome Boatsman
  • The Boys Are Back
  • The Fighting 69th
  • Blood
  • Prisoner’s Song
  • The Bonny
  • The Auld Triangle
  • The Battle Rages On
  • Barroom Hero
  • First Class Loser
  • Your Spirit’s Alive
  • (F)lannigan‘s Ball
  • Smash Shit Up
  • Cruel
  • God Willing
  • Amazing Grace
  • Citizen C.I.A.
  • Caught in a Jar
  • Johnny, I hardly Knew Ya
  • The Warrior’s Code
  • The State of Massachusetts
  • Out of Our Heads
  • Going Out in Style

Encores:

  • Rose Tattoo
  • I’m Shipping Up to Boston
  • Until Next Time

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