As of pen date, that’s how long it’s been since Turnstile’s Glow On was bestowed upon us. These 14 months have been a non-stop run for the Baltimore, MD genre-blending hardcore heroes. In their final 3 week stretch of the seemingly never-ending Turnstile Love Connection Tour, the group have returned to Los Angeles for two more sold-out shows - their 5th and 6th in the city this year.
On Thursday, Turnstile played their largest LA headliner to date at the 4,000 capacity Hollywood Palladium - though, they’re beating their record one day later with another sold out night at the Shrine Auditorium, housing another 6,300 sweaty bodies.
The excitement surrounding Turnstile has defined this chapter of their career. Their success has grown exponentially on an almost daily basis over the last two years, and the band’s continuing success feels like history in the making.
It wouldn’t do Turnstile justice to describe the buzz following this band as “hype”- unlike hype, what you’re hearing is real. It’s the echo of of the crowd’s shoes bouncing off of the sticky venue floor. The sky is the limit, both for the band, as well as the height of drummer Daniel Fang’s riser.
Walking in to the Palladium, the energy is palpable. While it’s clear that everyone is there for Turnstile, they’re enjoying the eclectic mix of openers - a drum & bass set from Kerwin Frost, and a support slot from indie-darlings Snail Mail. The line for merch extends across the entire hallway, wrapping itself around the edges of the concert hall from the moment doors opened.
A Liquid Death down the hatch, the lights dim as Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Who Loves Me)” plays in its entirety. Turnstile calmly walk on to the stage, and Freaky Franz starts off the night with the groovy baseline to the band's ubiquitous hit “Holiday”. Singer Brendan Yates floats across the stage, guiding the explosive crowd through the set.
The band blazes through the ebb and flow of styles. They get funky with “New Heart Design” and “Underwater Boi” from Glow On, and let off steam with Time & Space’s hard-hitters “Real Thing”, “Big Smile”, and “I Don’t Wanna Be Blind”. A real surprise was the appearance of “The Things You Do” from 2011’s Pressure to Succeed EP and the first song the band ever wrote.
The Palladium is not the greatest sounding venue in LA but Turnstile’s beloved sound engineer Jake Lang produced the best mix I’ve ever heard in the room, delivering magic on such a special evening.
I can’t help but to marvel at the way Turnstile uses their space on stage. I thought they put on a great show before, but after tonight, it’s undeniable that this band is at the top of their game. To drive that point home, we’re given a drum solo from Fang that was a thing of absolute beauty.
We all collectively drip back into the groove of “Alien Love Call” featuring guest saxophonist Tobias Moody. If you were at the shows at the Novo in Downtown Los Angeles in February, you’ll remember Moody performing out on the sidewalk after night one to Glow On as a crowd danced and sang around him.This caught the attention of Turnstile and they brought him up on stage the next night to perform with them then and again tonight.To witness Moody join the show was to witness the values of community and love the band have been built upon.
The set rounded out with “Endless”, “No Surprise”, “Mystery”, and closed with tour namesake, “T.L.C. (TURNSTILE LOVE CONNECTION)”.
The energy is unmatched at a Turnstile show. The vibe is absolutely correct. From dancing to a giant circle pit to gleefully singing along with finger points aplenty, a Turnstile show is an expression of joy, a physical representation of delight and the kind of sensory release that makes music so universal.
Seeing this band grow so much in the last year, and hearing the words “I want to thank you for letting me see myself, I want to thank you for letting me be myself” echoing across the room left me genuinely emotional. We’ve all gotten to come along for the ride, and we’re taking our places to witness the victory lap. With momentum like this, Turnstile can’t possibly slow down and I can’t wait to see what’s next.