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Show Review: Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls draws all the Phoenix punk rockers to The Van Buren

Punk rockers of all ages flocked to The Van Buren this week to see Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls- and their perfectly curated lineup- bring some old school energy to Phoenix. The next generation was well-represented as punk parents brought their children to the show and old school fans dusted off their vintage merch and boots to stomp along.

Amigo the Devil has built a cult following in Arizona over his many years of playing throughout the state and those fans made sure he felt that love on Wednesday. Singer Danny Kiranos has morphed his stage alter ego into a full band and collectively, they are now Amigo the Devil (and so was everyone in that room). Starting strong with “Small Stone”, Kiranos’ anecdotes perfectly segued into each next song. The audience was beside themselves with happiness if their raised voices were any indication and they nearly drowned out Kiranos’ raspy vocals on “Murder at the Bingo Hall” and “Cocaine and Abel”.

The group also performed a cheeky new track with “My Body is a Dive Bar” to raucous laughs and applause. The penultimate track, “Hungover in Jonestown”, also drew loud singing and the set closed out with a very special acapella moment on “Hell and You”. It’s been many years since Atlas has caught Amigo the Devil’s show and we can absolutely confirm that he’s better than ever.

The energy levels ratcheted up even more when Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls dropped right into “No Thank You for the Music”. With almost three decades under his belt with his various projects, The Sleeping Souls definitely bring out the punk rock party atmosphere of Turner’s songs while also being introspective looks into his trials and triumphs.

Turner made sure that his audience was jumping and dancing- it is a punk show after all and no one is too cool to jump along to “Get Better” and “Haven’t Been Doing So Well”. The crowd was more than happy to oblige and even settled down enough for Turner to take an acoustic moment on “The Way I Tend to Be” and more.

The band returned to the stage for the live debut of “Pandemic PTSD” (or as Turner put it, “the really fucking hard one” from the new album). Spirits were high and emotions ran deep for this show and Turner showed his gratitude through his stories and the intensity of the set. 

Determined to end the show promptly at 11pm, the band still comfortably fit over 20 songs into the main setlist, closing out with “Never Mind the Back Problems” and “Photosynthesis”. The fans didn’t mind staying up a little later and called the guys back for a three song encore that blew the doors off The Van Buren and sent everyone home properly sweaty and exhausted from the night’s adventure.