A band that started off as a fun hardcore project in Baltimore, Maryland, Turnstile has now gained national attention and critical acclaim. While they once played basement shows and small dive bars, they have now grown into selling out venues that hold thousands of people and don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon. Joining them for this incredible tour is hip-hop artist JPEGMAFIA, who brings his own sound and vision to the rap genre, and the dream-pop indie rock artist Snail Mail who delivers slow and melodic songs to soothe listeners. The Turnstile Love Connection tour brought fans of all genres of music together at the Aragon Ballroom for a night full of dancing, moshing, and bonding with one another.
Opening the night was Snail Mail, fronted and founded by Lindsey Jordan, who unfortunately had some audio issues with her guitar right from the beginning. But, even though this may be frustrating for some artists, Jordan used this brief moment of silence to be light-hearted and connect with the audience. As the guitar tech frantically ran around the stage to repair the noise emitting from the guitar amplifier, Jordan began to tell a joke. Unfortunately for her, the guitar issue was fixed and cut her joke short which she sarcastically told the crowd, “you guys are very lucky!” While some audio issues persisted throughout their performance, the band still delivered a passionate performance filled with lush vocals and melodic grooves.
Following the quiet and intimate performance of Snail Mail was the loud and explosive experimental hip-hop artist JPEGMAFIA, also known as “Peggy” for short. An artist known for tongue-in-cheek humor and confrontational lyrics, he begins his performance with his song “Jesus Forgive Me, I Am a Thot” while running from side-to-side on the stage screaming and jumping which the audience soon follows his lead. Most artists may take some short breaks in between songs to rest and regain composure, but JPEGMAFIA keeps his energy at one-hundred percent the entire performance jumping into the crowd, looping from behind the stage and then into the front of it, hopping into the photo pit; it was a non-stop spectacle. Fans were engaged the entire performance and followed every step of the animated artist. Needless to say, a perfect set-up for what was about to follow.
After their 2021 release GLOW ON, Turnstile has been one of the biggest names in music due to their infectious riffs and unique lyricism which still maintain the attributes of their DIY hardcore past while infusing it with a more refined sound that allows their music to be much more approachable for casual audiences. Just last year, they played legendary venue the Metro in Chicago, IL which holds about 1,000 people total and easily sold out that performance. Now, just a year later they have sold out the Aragon Ballroom which holds roughly 5,000 people total. The rise and success this band has had within a short amount of time is unfounded and incredibly spectacular to see. They are a band that plays what they want, how they want to without conforming to typical music industry standards; truly something special and very rare in today’s music landscape.
Their performance and approach to live music is also something to celebrate. While some bands seem bored and checked out while performing, the members of Turnstile ignore this concept and provide a memorable experience for fans in attendance. Vocalist Brendan Yates is known for leaping back and forth on stage while putting his all into his performance and his fellow bandmates also deliver passionate performances to drive the crowd into frenzy while screaming and moshing to the beat of the band’s fun and engaging set. Turnstile even stops at a certain point to provide water for the crowd members by throwing water bottles from the stage and instructing the crowd to stay hydrated. The band truly tries to connect with every fan and ensure that the crowd is having an excellent time. Even when they played some of the band’s slower songs such as “ALIEN LOVE CALL” the lyrics were belted by all in attendance in one harmonious voice, amplifying the Turnstile Love Connection slogan even more.
Turnstile has the world in the palms of their hand and does not seem to be letting up anytime soon.