Monday, May 13, 2019

Frank Turner / Shovels & Rope (5/9/19)

This was an odd night.  I had snagged a ticket awhile back because while I’ve seen Shovels & Rope before, I was intrigued to see how they've progressed since seeing them back in 2012.  I also saw their documentary when the Beachland Ballroom hosted a couple films for the Cleveland International Film Festival, back in 2014.  So needless to say, I was looking forward to this show - and figuring out who the Frank Turner guy was.  But then…   TR/ST released a new album and announced a Detroit show (!!!!).  I pivoted and bought a ticket, reserved an AirBnB, and was all set for an awesome night in Detroit.  Then I had to cancel for dog sitting reasons.  I was a little salty missing that show, and felt resigned to this one.  Still, I wanted to give it a  chance.

I’m really rooting for the Agora - I really am, but I think this venue has stepped down to House of Blues status for me.  Corporate, expensive, and not a great concert-going experience.  I couldn’t buy (any) beer for under $11.  I felt really disconnected from the stage and the performance, which was my biggest issue with Shovels & Rope.  As much as I’ve enjoyed this band in the past, they seemed to have just been swallowed up by this large venue.  Meh.

Shovels  Rope  5 9 19

Shovels  Rope  5 9 19

During the course of the night, I overheard a chorus of Frank Turner fanatics talking about how good he is, how he’s performed different live shows, etc.  It was getting me excited.  I had cursored over several of his albums, and while nothing offended me about them, I wasn’t immediately captivated either.  But, he has a long and successful career, so I’m not surprised to see people following him with ferocity.  

He took the stage with a force I don’t normally see, blasting music and energy out to the crowd.  It caught me off guard, and honestly, I never got on track with his show.  I also didn’t want to spend the money on a 2nd beer, so I left early.

Frank Turner  5 9 19

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