Arizona has waited a long time for this and finally Turnstile returned to make a love connection with a sold out show at The Van Buren this week. The hardcore heavyweights brought Snail Mail and Spellling along for a wild gig from start to finish.
Spellling (with three L’s) kicked off the night with a witchy shoegaze set full of haunting instrumentals and dreamy vocals. The rapidly filling room was mesmerized by the languid energy flowing from singer Tia Cabral and her talented band. While the group may not have been an obvious choice of opener for this kind of show, Cabral and co. certainly won the audience over in the end.
Snail Mail’s indie rock vibes were up next, injecting some crunchy guitars and punk rock mentality into an otherwise chill set. The band had visited Phoenix in the past and plenty of fans turned up for their set on Monday as there were voices raised to “Full Control” and “Valentine”.
With the massive success of Glow On, Turnstile catapulted themselves into a sphere far beyond the DIY halls of east coast hardcore. Now, the band is throwing themselves from stages and into crowds much larger than we’ve seen- and they’re doing it all with the same voracious spirit that’s made them scene staples. The opening drop into “Holiday” had the crowd crushed forward against the barricade and the pit opened immediately.
Turnstile blessed us with some older tracks as well, sprinting through “Real Thing” and “Big Smile” in their typical frenetic manner. Fans of varying degrees of longevity shouted the words to every track, drowning out vocalist Brendan Yates as he screamed the chorus to “Blackout” and showed off his eccentric dance moves.
It’s a special moment when the right band has a breakthrough and Turnstile continues to top their own performances every time we see them. They’re considered family in the world of hardcore music, but the multi-genre sensibilities showcased on Glow On moved them into a new league that brought even more fans into a world previously unknown to them. No matter how many times we hear “Don’t Play” or “Fly Again”, that soaring feeling never gets old.
Drummer Daniel Fang got a killer moment in the spotlight, ripping an extensive drum solo right into “Alien Love Call” and even more jumping and moshing to end the night with a little “T.L.C.”.
Getting the chance to watch Turnstile experience this massive moment alongside their fans is a feeling that filled The Van Buren all the way up to the balcony- some very sweaty humans limped out of the venue that night ready for the next time we all get to rage.
Check out all the photos from the show!
Story and photos by Olivia Khiel