Monday, October 1, 2012

Live Review - Frank Turner / Larry & His Flask / Jenny Owen Youngs @ Webster Hall

Sunday night at Webster Hall could have been called "A Night Of Passionate Music Played By Passionate Artists," England's Frank Turner was playing his largest show ever in the United States with Oregon's Larry and His Flask and New Jersey's Jenny Owen Youngs. It was the final night of a tour that seemed to show how these three artists built much more than friendships on the road the last month, but a bond that will never be broken. As each artist practices their own fusion of folk and punk, each brought their own undying passion to the stage and had an entire sold-out crowd eating out of the palm of their hands.

First up was Jenny Owen Youngs who is supporting her latest record, the fantastic, An Unwavering Band of Light. Youngs was up their all along with just her voice and a guitar, however, that did not mean she did not have the backing of every guy that she was on the road with sending their good vibes and thoughts on over to her. Youngs, who is a vocal and lyrical force had all of Webster Hall standing at attention, listening to what she had to say and sing about, which ranges from broken relationships, lovers, picking up the pieces of your life and moving forward. They are all themes we all know so well, yet, when she is singing about them, they all make so much sense.

Following Youngs' short but sweet set came Larry and His Flask. A band that has been getting much buzz these days after playing Riot Fest and releasing a new acclaimed EP. The band, which there is only one to describe is if one things of Mumford and Sons taking a ton of HGH and then doing massive lines of Coke and going on stage, that in a nutshell, is Larry and His Flask. A supercharged folk, Blue Grass outfit that pack more energy than a case of Red Bull. They really are one of the most incredible live bands around these days and whoever they are playing with or where they are playing, they need to be seen. As they had nothing but amazing things to say about being on the road with Turner and Youngs, Youngs herself and members of Turner's backing band, The Sleeping Souls joined The Flask for a punk ho-down during their final number.

After two brilliant openers, it was now time for the main event - Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls. Opening with "Eulogy" off last years fantastic, England Keep My Bones, Turner gave the words he wishes to utter before he leaves this Earth to his audience, and in typical mass following, they wish to utter them as well. It was then into "Peggy Sang The Blues," that turned all of Webster Hall into a drunken singalong, that brought a smile to every person in the room, including Turner himself. Turner who has had massive 2012 after selling out Wembley Arena in his native country and is set to release a live DVD of that landmark gig and not to mention performing at the Olympic Closing Ceremonies, he has become a national treasure. However, his national status has developed over the years into international treasure as he has become the new punk-poet for Generation Y and the Millennium Kids. For Turner's fans, everything he says seems to paint a picture of the world they want to live in, he has become their lyrical prophet and is doing a damn good job simply because he is doing it his way and doing it as real and no bullshit as it gets. While a majority of the songs from the night came off his last record, he announced that he and his band, will travel to the West Coast to record their new record. As the crowd were overwhelmed with joy, he debuted two new songs, "One Fine Day," which is inspired by the film, Amelie and "Wherefore Art Thou, Gene Simmons?" which is about Gene Simmons being a scumbag. After nearly 90-minutes on stage, Frank Turner would constantly praise his touring buddies, Youngs and Larry, and his fans that are making his words and dreams come more alive than ever before. It is guys like Turner who wear their heart and pride on their sleeves that not only help make the world go round, but also make you believe that good guys can still rock harder than any other commercial creation out there.