Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls wake up The Fillmore with show #2007 - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart
Frank Turner at the Fillmore | Photo by: Ellen Miller |

After playing his 2000th show in London last month, Frank Turner is back on the road for another tour of North America. The British singer-songwriter returned to Philadelphia on Friday, January 20th to entertain a crowd of all ages at The Fillmore (show #2007).

Four bands shared the bill in total, beginning with British singer-songwriter Will Varley. He performed several folk-punk songs including “Weddings + War,” “Seize the Night,” “We don’t Believe You,” closing with “King for a King.” Varley made sure the forming crowd felt that showing up early was worth it by interacting with them, having brief conversation between songs about Philadelphia-related things (cheesesteaks, of course) and playing what are most likely his most catchy songs.

Canadian band Arkells were up next, which definitely helped fill the venue out. The band had already played a highly energetic set for WXPN’s Free at Noon show, and they still had more than enough energy to entertain the nighttime audience. With several familiar faces from the midday show, the Arkells expanded the set list for show number two. Beginning the set with the catchy song “A Little Rain (Song for Pete)” they immediately got crowd singing along, which continued all the way through their performance. The band played several tracks from their newest album Morning Report, which was just released during 2016.

The Arkells| Photo by: Ellen Miller |

Arkells| Photo by: Ellen Miller |

Murder By Death | Photo by: Ellen Miller |

Murder By Death | Photo by: Ellen Miller |

The final opening band was Murder By Death. The show continued with the same energy as Murder By Death played a mix of songs from their records. Even with a small technical issue early on, they kept the audience engaged with brilliant guitar and cello arrangements. The room was well filled by this time and the crowd was intrigued throughout this final opening set. The audience was interacting as the band thought up songs clips to play while one of their tech guys got a busted amp working again. Then they were back to playing their set list as normal everyone was into it.

Once the crowd was sufficiently warmed up by the three openers, it was finally time for Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls to take the stage. By now the venue was densely packed with super excited fans. Turner opened with a new song called “Sand in the Gears,” a timely response to an event which occurred in the United States earlier that day. (We’re sure you can guess what it was. Hint: it was not Arkells’ Free at Noon.) The set continued with a mix of Turner’s old songs and songs from his latest album Positive Songs for Negative People, punctuated by lots of enthusiastic singing along.

Frank Turner at the Fillmore|Photo by: Ellen Miller

Frank Turner at the Fillmore | Photo by: Ellen Miller |

Will Varley even made one more appearance on stage to play the Harmonica part during “I Still Believe.” In the middle of the set Turner did a few solo songs, then the full band came back out to end the night with a bang. During the last song of the regular set, “Photosynthesis,” Turner brought a young lady from the audience up on stage and had her crowd surf through the audience, on a path he designed by picking random audience members to be her targets. Of course the band came back out for an encore during which they played three of the most popular songs, ending with “Four Simple Words” and quick crowd surf by Turner. He knows how to put on a fun show for his fans.

Below, check out the setlist from the night, along with a full photo gallery.

Set List:

  1. The Sand in the Gears
  2. The Next Storm
  3. I Still Believe
  4. Recovery
  5. Losing Days
  6. Try This at Home
  7. Long Live the Queen
  8. Glorious You
  9. Polaroid Picture
  10. Plain Sailing Weather
  11. The Way I Tend To Be
  12. Vital Signs
  13. Broken Piano
  14. The Ballad of Me and My Friends
  15. The Opening Act of Spring
  16. The Road
  17. If Ever I Stray
  18. Out of Breath
  19. Photosynthesis


  1. Love Ire & Song
  2. Get Better
  3. Four Simple Words

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