With all the lights on in the house turned off and a standard fog machine turning off the light of several hundred smartphones, Evan Felker entered the Keynes Ballroom stage in Tulsa.
When his eyes caught the attention of 1,700 fans on Friday night, he made a quick double-tag, roaring the collective realization that the six photos on stage were actually Turnbike Troopers.
Whether by design or blind luck, the lights were turned off while the band was tuning and straightening the microphone stands for almost two minutes, which allowed Cain to achieve a uniqueness even by respectable dance floor standards. When it finally caught Felker’s attention, he started straight at “Every Woman”, the band’s favorite concert-opener.
The turnbike once again became the turnbike.
“Nice to meet you all again!” Felker shouted after the first song, officially stopping the six-month comeback story that began in May 2019 with a break and an exclusive. Rolling Stone As interviews and concerts were announced, there was a recurrence of incidents where fans and scalper bots alike crashed on ticket-selling websites.
Next came the classic turnbike set – 19 Stomping Roots Numbers and a One-Song Encore – with low stage speech, allowing echoes of audience approval to echo the photos of Bob Wills and Hank Williams lined up on the exterior walls most of the time. Of Cain.
“I was cold when Ivan appeared, and I can not say for sure that it happened often,” said Chad Rodgers, general manager of the venue. Rolling Stone Middle.
The turnbike was exceptionally tight throughout the 90-minute show. Ryan Engleman’s lead guitar and Kyle Nix’s fiddle alternately featured on the front of the mix, while Hong Earley’s accordion and pedal steel equalized RC Edwards’ bass to stabilize the turbine’s standard swamp swing sound. Cape Pearson never considered missing a beat on the drums.
Of course, the eyes were on Felker calmly from the start of the turnbike break. The lead singer embraced the review on Friday, moving sexy with his impassioned, aw-shax voices throughout the show.
“It’s good to be back in Oklahoma,” Felker said at the outset. “For whatever reason, but especially this one.”
Every member of Turnbike has a few words and likes a few minutes of music on every show, but Felker is rightly shown to be “shy” and he knows it. At best, he is deliberately the lead singer, and his interactions with the crowd are always specific. He yelled at his friend John Fulbright, who caused a mini-frenzy when he took the harmonica solo at the end of “The Housefire” when he kicked him “Don’t pay rent”. However, the fiddle introduction to Turnbike’s description of John Hartford’s “Long Hot Summer Days” was well received.
In a bit of a quiet moment before the band’s first album title track of 2010, “Diamonds and Petrol”, Felker made a commitment.
“This is for my dear wife, wherever she is outside,” he said, looking at Stacy’s stage wings. The message of the gesture was unmistakable: the couple’s public fight, which coincided with the band’s break in 2018, was just as break as in the past.
Flew for an hour and a half. When the band left with a wave after a one-song encore – the perfect “Long Drive Home” – real tears came from the numerous fans who still wanted 90 minutes.
That part made sense. According to Rodgers, about 70,000 people tried to get tickets to the band’s comeback weekend on Friday and Saturday. Those who went inside for one night were bent on making it special. The line for entry began at 5:30 a.m. as we walked through the ballroom to make sure Matt Forest, from Plainview, Arc, could take first place. He got out of his car at 8 a.m. and was in front of a line with a tail in the middle of the afternoon. Folding chairs and air conditioners extend the length of the building across Main Street north of Tulsa.
“I’m looking at the turnbike because there were 20 people playing in the crowd at Stickies Rock and Roll Chicken Shake in Little Rock. They had a van, not a bus,” Forrest said. “They’m a great band and I look forward to hearing them together – they’re all back.”
Behind Forrest in this line, second through the gates, is Matt Westerman of Texas, who now lives in Maple Grove, Minn, where he expressed widespread interest in this particular concert.
“I’m glad they’re back and their first show is in Cairns,” Westerman said. “This is my first show in Cairns. I have wanted to come here for so long, this is not going to be a good first show.
On the other side of the door, the hosts felt the same way.
Vandoliers, the Dallas Cowboys band, fresh out of a tour with Flocking Molly, kicked off the show by reminding the crowd that a high-energy set and lead player Joshua Fleming belongs to Turnbike tonight.
“This show is not about vandals,” Fleming said from the stage. “This is about you, and this is about the turnbike, and it’s an honor to be here … our favorite band is back together, you!”
In Cain’s view, Rodgers created a cake for the band that read “Welcome Home” in icing. But he too suppressed tears in one speech Rolling Stone When he lamented before the show, the time in the distance made the turnbike so big.
“I’m going to soak this up for the next two nights,” Rodgers said, “because, to be honest, they’ll never come back.”
List of Turnbike Troopers:
7 & 7
Easton and Maine
A tornado warning
Good Lord Larry
Something to catch
Gin, smoke, lie
Diamonds and petrol
Drunk, loud and loud
Long hot summer days
The city of Poseidon
Josh Crutchmer is the author of the book Red Dirt: Roots Music, born in Oklahoma, grew up in Texas, anywhere in the house (Back Lounge Publishing, 2020).