Live Review: Turnstile - The Love Connection Tour 2022 - with Special Guests JPEGMafia and Snail Mail
Byline Bank Aragon Ballroom Chicago
And before Brendan Yates and the gang from TURNSTILE get around to even playing a note, the crowd is amped, chanting along with arms raised to their intro song "I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)" from Whitney Houston.
This should tell you lots, being first and foremost a "Love Connection Tour", which I assume means to some extent that the band TURNSTILE wants to make this a party for tonight.
A house party that you never forget.
A party where we're all one and the same, and try to get to know your neighbors on the main floor.
Clearly not much has changed since the last time they bolted through town- that being Day Three at Lollapalooza back in the summer.
They still trailblaze- they still know how to provoke a main floor crowd to instantaneously fling about into a menacing mass of swinging limbs with the obvious bar-age of waves of body surfers.
Was told in advance upon entering the pit for tonight's show that we may be "one and done" in the pit, depending on the crowd and security potentially having their hands full.
Well shit. Who wouldn't expect something of that sort with TURNSTILE.
This by way of Maryland hardcore band have made a name for themselves with crowd participation over the past few years, ever so mightily building a steady and strong and faithful following, sometimes lately performing without any barriers depending on the venue, and me losing count back in the day of how many fans rush the stage to dive-bomb headfirst back into the crowd.
This is all a part of their show, what with songs such as the heavy duty opener "HOLIDAY", into not for the faint hearted "Real Thing", and into "Big Smile".
And guess what?
We were able to stay for the first three songs, even though like I said it was volatile as all get out.
Some eighteen songs in total, with not much time to catch your breath between songs.
For as young as they are, they're certainly polished and tight as all get out, ever so electric in everything they do, and especially in their songwriting- penning such catchy and full of might songs which are inviting and meant to provoke action and movement.
TURNSTILE are tried and true and honest to the gills embracing everything underground hardcore.
Although clearly by now, the cats are out of the bag, what with every stop through town, their audience, their performance spaces are getting bigger and bigger and bigger.
Even at the somewhat imposing Aragon Ballroom, they have a way of shrinking the space to make things feel like you're still witnessing them play at Subterranean, or at the Beat Kitchen.
Tried and true heavy hitters, Turnstile are, making sure the folks in the back are good and sweaty, equal to the masses all the way in the front.
So yes, we have body surfers galore, big and bigger mosh pits depending on the song, mass singalongs which seemed like every song the entire night, and hot and sweaty energy permeating throughout the main floor driving the show all the way to the end.
No need for fancy lighting, no need for stage banter, or circus tricks to amp up this crowd.
Minimal staging is all that's needed tonight, even on a Sunday, what with lead singer Brendan Yates vaulting about throughout, with the occasional high kicks, all to the beat of each and every song.
A crushing and sweaty time was had, even with this old timer photographer.
Clearly Turnstile put on one of the best shows of the year.
As for Barrington DeVaughn Hendricks- better known as JPEGMafia- a one man wrecking crew, even though his set was rather short.
This guy, even with his sophisticated beats and all things industrial and experimental hip hop, also knows by now a thing or two in commanding an audience, equal to headliners Turnstile, with minimal fanfare and flash and pizzaz.
All of that not needed folks- including no need for a DJ to proceed to the next song with the occasional and obnoxious boat horn.
JPEG knows how to incorporate a wide variety of genres into his mix, and also doing it with samples and beats from his laptop which don't sound dated, or are in any way weak to the punch of his rap vocals.
A mesmerizing set from JPEG, clearly A Plus in amping up all things Turnstile to follow.
And as for openers Snail Mail, which is in essence Lindsey Jordan and her hand picked band-
I felt bad for her.
She didn't have much of a soundcheck before the doors opened. which became obvious before she played a single note, what with her guitar chord patched in not correctly, or it must have failed.
Even with several attempts to switch opposite plugs, and try new patch chords, the scratchy pitch emanating from her guitar was troublesome throughout, to the point where she did her best to improvise, and sing her songs without guitar at all.
You could tell that this frustrated her to some extent, but the main floor crowd was supportive, along with her band.
So unfortunate for Lindsey, me being a fan of her releases, both "Lush" and also her latest from last year- "Valentine".
Still, for all the hiccups, a rather chill and nice set to start the evening off.
Bobby Talamine - JBTV Music Television Chicago
JBTV, Turnstile, JPEGMafia, Snail Mail, Aragon Ballroom, Concert, Live Music