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Show Review: Frank Turner brings history to life at Mesa Arts Center

Bards and buskers aren’t nearly as common as they should be, but Frank Turner is filling that void on his latest tour supporting new album No Man’s Land. Each song tells the story of a lesser-known woman in history, which Turner is bringing to life in a solo opening set before playing with his band, The Sleeping Souls.

Singer-songwriter Kayleigh Goldsworthy is also on the tour and comes from a similar background as Frank Turner, having traded her punk basement shows for a more folk-influenced acoustic sound. She commented on the beauty of the theater and talked the crowd through her songs, mostly on the sad side with a quick pivot: “This one is actually happy!” Goldsworthy was also appreciative of everyone who arrived early and promised a stellar set from her longtime friend. 

Frank Turner took a similar acoustic approach for his first set, which comprised the tracks from No Man’s Land and his commentary. Stories covered major historical events plus two bonus stories about his mom and a young self-described Egyptian feminist, who Turner hopes to see at one of his shows someday.

“And then we’re going to play the old shit,” he explained toward the end of the acoustic set, leading the crowd through a singalong. The full stage setup was revealed to be the instruments and chairs for The Sleeping Souls, lit softly in the background, while a spotlight illuminated Turner for his second set of the evening. 

Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls settled in for a long set that covered all the hits and other selections from the past decade. Atlas was in the midst of it all, capturing the magic in the gorgeous Mesa Arts Center.

Check out photos from the show!
Story and photos by Taylor Gilliam