All Music Is Dance Music: TURNSTILE at the Shrine Expo Hall

The rap-heavy Grey Day Tour received a little T.L.C. on their Los Angeles tour stop.

turnstile
Photograph by Luis, Heaviest of Art

Words, Photos by Luis (@luis.hoa):

You can't outwork TURNSTILE. No matter how hard you try, the hardcore unit permeate every live and digital space possible with infectious cheer and a boundless approach to composition. This year alone, the band have released the year-end contending full-length that is GLOW ON via Roadrunner Records, which followed the surprise release of the TURNSTILE LOVE CONNECTION EP, the likes of which came accompanied by a Brendan Yates-directed short film of the same name. That's just their output alone. In terms of touring, they've ripped through countless shows since touring resumed on a summer trek and are currently on the ongoing Grey Day Tour with $uicideboy$, Slowthai, Night Lovell, and others, all while already having a European tour ready to go for early next year. That's not all. TURNSTILE is nominated for multiple 2022 GRAMMY Awards, including Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song (MYSTERY), Best Rock Album (GLOW ON), Best Metal Performance (TURNSTILE LOVE CONNECTION), and Best Music Film. The accolades are all well earned and well deserved, but we'd be remiss not to mention that these nominations and high social media praise isn't what make this band truly special.


Something can be said about TURNSTILE landing on a rap-centric touring bill such as Grey Day, or why they've landed a spot at Complexcon 2021 or Post Malone's 2022 Posty Fest. Their youthful spark lights up any stage, regardless of the "type" of crowd they play before. Their brand of hardcore is universal and with GLOW ON, TURNSTILE cement their mantra of "all music is dance music". Having seen them among thousands on Night 2 of the Grey Day Tour at the Shrine Expo Hall this past Sunday in Los Angeles, I can attest to the power of the mantra.

turnstile
Photograph by Luis, Heaviest of Art

With lights dimmed, a snippet from The Equatics' Where Is Love opens the set before the sparkling notes of MYSTERY commence. The riff ensues and the heads start to bang over the barricade as frontman Brendan Yates belts out a commanding performance. Bassist Franz Lyons and guitarists Brady Ebert and Patrick McCrory follow suit and roam around the stage with a potent presence, all while Daniel Fang holds it down behind the kit. They feed off one another and not once do you see an idle band member throughout the entirety of the track. From here, they harken back to their earlier era with Drop, a raging affair that stands tall among the band's assorted discography.


Drop wasn't the only of the band's earlier hits that made an appearance. Big Smile & Real Thing from 2018's Time & Space came too and were met with as much enthusiasm. From here, GLOW ON shined and BLACKOUT set the Shrine ablaze with its upbeat tempo and memorable vocal lines. The violet lights shined bright on the quintet as they jumped and paraded around the outdoor stage. As expect, the closing breakdown of BLACKOUT erupted and mosh pits ensued on both sides of the split crowd, quite a contrast in energy from the following UNDERWATER BOI. Cellphone lights and lighters went up and the glistening chimes rang throughout the venue as concertgoers swayed their head in approval. Consider this a moment of guiding light at a time where circumstances seem bleak.

turnstile
Photograph by Luis, Heaviest of Art

HOLIDAY and T.L.C. (TURNSTILE LOVE CONNECTION) put a back to back exclamation point on the band's performance, each in their own fashion. You can't help but scream, "Now it's a holiday!" and then proceed to stomp in rhythm. T.L.C. ups the ante on extremity and let the punk riffs shine as bodies began to move once more, albeit at a much faster pace. It's a masterclass of a track that translates beautifully to the live setting as a testament to the maturity lying within the band's ranks.


There were no cinematic intros or outros here. No elaborate schematics, just great times and great energy. Though TURNSTILE stopped at moments to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all guests in attendance, they never took their foot off the gas and bombarded all from one track to the next. Again, few have the potential to match what TURNSTILE do.

turnstile
Photograph by Luis, Heaviest of Art

A high drive and work ethic is praised in any industry, especially the music industry where there's a constant desire for continuous material. Seeing as they've delivered on that end and the performative end as well, there's no doubt that TURNSTILE will continue their upwards trajectory in the months and years to come. However, TURNSTILE exist beyond the stagnant routine of an album-tour-album cycle. They're a communal spirit that gather likeminded people for an uplifting moment of musical wonder, even if brief. Their sets may be just over 30 minutes on Grey Day, but that's just enough for a hell of a party that garners widespread attention to a fan not privy to the band's electrifying persona. The future is here. The future is TURNSTILE.

Enjoy a photo gallery of the performance below and stream GLOW ON on your platform of choice HERE. Stay up to date with their tour schedule HERE and be sure catch them when they head out to your neck of the woods.


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Cover Artwork for 'GLOW ON' (2021)