Winnipeg bands rock the house

Cameron Campbell, Staff Writer

On Feb. 7, I had the pleasure of sitting in one of Winnipeg’s nicest theaters for one of the best rock shows to come through the city in a while.

The two bands that played were Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls and The Arkells. The concert hall stage was set up with all of Frank Turner’s gear, including two huge boxes that were lit up with a positive and negative sign representing his most recent album “Positive Songs for Negative People.”

When 8 p.m. came around, the stage went dark and the “Jurassic Park” theme start playing. Through the faint lights you could see Frank Turner take the stage. The first note hit and the crowd instantly jumped up.

Turner went straight into “I Still Believe.” A song about still believing in “guitars and drums and desperate poetry.”

The Sleeping Souls played an opening set of forty minutes. Turner hit every one of his hits and put on one of the strongest shows I have ever seen by him.

In the middle of the set, he claimed one of his favorite bands was a local band called “The Weakerthans.” For that reason he played an acoustic cover of “One Great City” a Weakerthans classic.

However, the chorus of the songs says “I hate Winnipeg”. Right after Turner sang this line he immediately said “I promise I really don’t”. The last chorus he ended it by saying “I love Winnipeg.”

After the song, the band played a few more songs before closing with “Four Simple Words,” a song that is about going to punk shows to dance and forget about everything.

During this song, Turner grabbed the wireless mic and climbed over rows of seats while still singing. He got as far as the 20th row, before making his way back to the stage.

After The Sleeping Souls electrified the crowd, it was The Arkells turn. The headlining band came out and once again the crowd was dancing and singing. Their pop rock sound crossed over extremely well and I was amazed by how great this band was live.

About half way through their set the front man said that he and Frank Turner were having a drink and Turner said that he had a Ph. D. in “rock and roll.”

They said “If Frank here can go three for three than he has earned his Ph. D.” The band then dropped into three Bruce Springsteen songs: “Dancing in the Dark”, “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out” and “Hungary Heart.” Needless to say, Turner nailed all of them.

After the show Frank Turner decided to do an acoustic set at one of his favorite local bars, The Yellow Dog Tavern. There he topped off the night with drinks and mixture of playing his own songs as well as his favorite covers.

It is hard to say if there is a better live band than Frank Turner and The Sleeping Souls. 

Cameron Campbell is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]