Arts & Entertainment

Frank Turner plays Boston Calling 10 years later, starting yet another mosh pit

At his 2,884th show ever, 42-year-old Frank Turner hit the stage at Boston Calling, assuring the audience not to be too afraid of his acoustic guitar — after all, it was a punk rock show.

Turner, who hails from the U.K., started the busy U.S. leg of his tour on May 23. He already played two shows in Pennsylvania and one in Boston before his set on Boston Calling’s Red Stage on May 25.

Frank Turner of The Sleeping Souls performs at Boston Calling on May 25. This was Turner’s 2,884th show and he started the only recorded mosh pit at the festivals. MOLLY POTTER/DFP PHOTOGRAPHER

“I played here in 2014, and it’s quite a good example of the place I’m at in my life right now,” he said. “I’ve been touring for 26 years, but it’s ten years later, and I’m still here.”

Supporting his new album, “Undefeated,” released on May 3, Turner said this new stage in his career is marked by his coming to terms with aging and the “reasonably obvious statement” that who he was at 15, is extremely different from who he is at 42.

“I try and write about my station in life…what I know about the rest of it,” he said. “But I wouldn’t say that it’s necessarily a record you can’t enjoy if you’re not in your 40s.”

At 15, he was hooked on punk rock. Up until then, he’d only been to big, arena-esque rock shows, where being that close to any of the performers was essentially “off the table.”

“To me, punk rock is about a community,” he said. “If you’re on the stage, sure, that’s your goal at that moment in time. The minute you’re off the stage, you’re the f—ing same as everybody else.”

On stage at Boston Calling, Turner called Boston his American hometown, shouting to the audience, “we should hang out more often.” He started a mosh pit at the festival and jumped off the stage so he could sing right in the center.

“To me, music’s about community and it’s about interaction,” Turner said. 

At his shows, he said he never wants anyone to feel like it’s “this insanely cool party that you’re not invited to.”

Frank Turner performs during his set on Day 2 of Boston Calling. MOLLY POTTER/DFP PHOTOGRAPHER

For one fan, it was the 10th anniversary of the first time she saw Turner play live at Boston Calling in 2014.

“I kind of see him any chance I get,” Allyson Laredo said at her 17th Turner show. “I’m certainly not the only one who’s seen him a bunch of times. He has a pretty big fan base that does that.”

Ella Lynas first saw Turner when she was 10 years old and has “massive” respect for his consistent on-the-road activity over a decade later.

“I know he loves Boston, so it’s just cool to see him doing more for people in Boston,” she said. “His fans are very loyal, so a lot of people see him and follow him all over the country.”

Having hardly slowed down his touring career since he was a teenager, Turner said getting up on stage is what defines him as an artist. 

“If I’m not actively playing music, I’m not a musician,” he said. “I want to be a musician.”

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