On the night of Friday, April 15, South Street was crawling with college kids, and it wasn’t because of its many head shops or Jim’s Steaks. The Theatre of the Living Arts, located right in the heart of South Street, was the source of all the excitement on that particular evening. I’m sure every pop-punk fan in the Philadelphia area rejoiced upon hearing the lineup, which featured Citizen and Turnover as co-headliners, with support from Sorority Noise and Milk Teeth. The show was sold out, which comes as no surprise given the incredibly stacked lineup.
Turnover, who just released their album “Peripheral Vision” in 2015, have been picking up a lot of steam. Just this past September, they played as an opener at a World Cafe Live show, and have quickly graduated to headlining the TLA. The Virginia-based rockers play a unique blend of indie rock and dream pop, with just a distant hint of pop punk. Their sound is so interesting because they started as a typical, run-of-the-mill pop punk act who you could expect to see in a Warped Tour lineup. However, it’s like they flipped a switch with “Peripheral Vision,” and completely abandoned their punk roots in favor of a chilled-out indie vibe.
Their incredibly solid album is paralleled by their impressive live act. Their reverby guitars and smooth melodies are a real treat to hear live. A lot of bands sound quite different in concert than they do in the studio but Turnover replicates the shimmering beauty of their album flawlessly. After performances from Milk Teeth and Sorority Noise, they kicked off the set with their most popular song, “Dizzy On The Comedown,” which immediately energized the crowd. It was weird seeing a venue full of punk fans bouncing around and crowd surfing to the ambient, chilled-out jams. They played through most of “Peripheral Vision,” and closed with the solid “Cutting My Fingers Off.” Their set clocked in at 30 minutes, which felt far too short and somewhat unsatisfying, but it was a great set nonetheless.
Citizen performed last, bringing the audience’s excitement to a maximum; these guys really knew how to work a crowd. From the moment the set started with their 2013 banger, “The Summer,” to the end of the closer, “The Night I Drove Alone,” the band and the audience were feeding off each other’s energy. Citizen is an emo pop band from Michigan, and their latest album, “Everybody Goes To Heaven,” was released 2015 on Run For Cover Records. They peppered several songs from the new record throughout their set.
After the closing song, the band returned to play one more song, “Drawn Out.” This was a great way to end the show, because it is the last song off their 2013 album, “Youth,” and it pleased many of the fans who may not have been expecting to hear it. In fact, the song is one of the least popular ones from the album, making it a real treat for true fans in the audience.