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English punk troubadour Frank Turner laid out the night’s rules early in his sold-out 9:30 Club show on Wednesday: “Rule No. 1: Be nice to each other. Rule No. 2: Have a good fucking time.” Both were abided with exuberance.
Turner tried out some brand new songs on the crowd, requesting that folks put camera phones away. The songs felt just as solid as his older ones, which speaks to the consummate musicianship of his band. Turner actually recorded one new song that night: A tune he wrote for his friend and longtime 9:30 Club employee Josh Burdette, who passed away last September. “To the extent that I knew him, Josh was one of the single best fucking people I ever knew,” Turner said to a cheering crowd. “I wrote this song for Josh, and I wanted to record it in a way that was different than just some fucking studio. So we’re going to record it now.” By the end of the song, there wasn’t a dry eye in the club—-even Turner was tearing up. The song was a perfect homage to someone so loved in the community.
After he finished, Turner said, “The one thing [Burdette] wouldn’t want is [for us to be] fucking sad, so let’s fucking rock and roll,” and we did, to a blistering version of “I Still Believe.”
D.C.’s the Deadmen opened for Turner. Full of gorgeous harmonies and lyrics, their record is one you’ll want for those long drives at night when you just can’t sleep.
See photos from both sets in the gallery.