Frank Turner / Lucero / The Menzingers / The Homeless Gospel Choir @ House of Blues, Dallas, TX

Words and photos by Nick Paruch
Punk Music Isn't Dead, It Just Changed.

Many want to define punk music by the 70’s bands like Ramones, The Clash and The Sex Pistols. And while that may have been where the so-called genre started it really is not a genre at all. Punk music is a culture; the music is just a way of expressing that culture. Kurt Cobain summed it nicely, "Punk rock should mean freedom."

The House of Blues in Dallas experienced such freedom with an eclectic mix of bands that somehow seemed cohesive yet disjointed. Very punk!

The night kicked off with folk punk artist The Homeless Gospel Choir, aka Derek Zanetti, who would begin every song by saying “This is a protest song.” Not sure they were really protest songs but they were very poignant and often hilarious. “Normal” talks about how Zanetti found acceptance by listening to Green Day and not being normal.

Scranton punkers, The Menzingers, were up next. They are, dare I say, a traditional punk band full of aggression, heart and soul. Their set was full of “in your face” jams which energized the early crowd and got them moving. While not much for on stage banter, the group definitely put on a solid performance.

A punk band from Memphis would naturally have country influences and this is very apparent in the third group of the night, Lucero. Fronted by Ben Nichols and his gravelly-voice with many songs about drinking and referencing Texas, much to the appreciation of the locals. Drinks were regularly delivered to the stage by fans and a gratuitous band welcomed them. The synergy between band and the audience was tight with most singing along all night.

When the much anticipated folk-punk troubadour, Frank Turner arrived on stage the crowd was fired up and went wild. The singer-songwriter backed by The Sleeping Souls did not disappoint. Opening the show with “1933”, a classic punk tune from Be More Kind. Not short on energy, Frank was very focused on the task at hand. Entertaining the fans, telling stories and creating connections. He did set a couple rules at the beginning of the show; “1. Don’t be an asshole and 2. Sing along if you know the words.” Good advice for life in general.

Throughout the night Frank would tell stories of his experiences and spoke of a couple he met, Grayden and Amanda, at a record store appearance he made earlier in the day. Grayden had bought Amanda tickets for the Frank Turner concert and gave them to her on Valentine’s Day. Frank was touched, he called the couple out from the audience and had them join him on stage. He then separated them on opposite sides of the stage, had them dive into the crowd while they played “If Ever I Stray”. They were instructed crowdsurf to the back of the arena to kiss and take a selfie. All while being held up by the crowd.

The most participatory song of the night was “Make America Great Again” which calls to “make racists ashamed again.” A joyous singalong anthem with everyone belting it out. Another standout was “Blackout”, an almost pop song from a punker.

Punk music is alive and well! It’s different. But still provides the much needed medication for those who feel estranged or mentally tortured or just different.

Photos of the show are below:

The Homeless Gospel Choir
The Menzingers
Frank Turner
Contributed by Nick Paruch
Frank Turner / Lucero / The Menzingers / The Homeless Gospel Choir @ House of Blues, Dallas, TX Frank Turner / Lucero / The Menzingers / The Homeless Gospel Choir @ House of Blues, Dallas, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on June 19, 2018 Rating: 5
Powered by Blogger.