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Mace & Crown | March 21, 2018

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Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls Awaken The NorVa

Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls Awaken The NorVa
Michael McCann
Contributing Writer

The NorVa was alive on a sleepy night before Halloween with Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls playing to an eager crowd. The show’s atmosphere was much like his previous shows, with bombastic sing-a-long onstage banter with the crowd.

British folk singer Will Varley opened the night discussing his time in Norfolk and the Chrysler Museum of Art. He then played a five-song set. One of the songs was based on a suggestion of cats by the audience to the tune of Johnny Cash’s “A Boy Named Sue.”

Arkells, a Canadian rock band, followed up as the second opening act. They amped the crowd with songs from their newest album, “Morning Report.” At one point during the act, leader singer Max Kerman left the stage and started singing while in the crowd.

It was then time for Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls to take the stage. They started right into two consecutive songs, “I Knew Prufrock Before He Got Famous” and “The Next Storm.” Once the band caught their breath, Frank Turner noted that this was their 1,970th show.

Frank Turner played in Norfolk at Chrysler Hall in June earlier this year. He reminisced about being able to swear in a sailor for reenlistment before he left for sea duty. He found that event to be one of the most memorable times of his touring career.

He continued on with the show noting all of the injuries that he has amassed during his prolific career. He told an anecdote about his doctor telling him to stop jumping up and down on stage. He disagreed with the doctor and said that he would continue performing so he could entertain his fans.

Throughout the night, Turner and his opening acts referred to their concert the night before in Morgantown, West Virginia. He often teased the crowd saying that West Virginia was the best Virginia. He was also bemused that West Virginia was easily able to secede from Virginia with no supposed permission.

The tour is correlated with his latest album, “Positive Songs for Negative People.” The album, which received a mixed reaction from critics, has become popular with his large following of fans.

Turner’s energy continued to permeate through the crowd with “Essex Boy” and “Wanderlust.” The crowd was peppered with fans that wore Turner’s shirts from previous shows.

As the night wore down, Turner played more music from his highest-charting album in the U.S., “Tape Deck Heart.” Songs like “Recovery” and “Four Simple Words” helped close out the night that boasted a 22 song set list. A mixed crowd of fans, young and old, continued to sing along.

Turner recently performed at the world famous “Reading and Leeds Festivals” for a record 10th time. This is a testament, not only of the profuse touring that he has dedicated much of his career to, but the dedication of his fans. His longevity will continue as he nears his 2,000th live performance.