Words and Pictures by Haley Sousa
Fall is approaching quickly here in Western New York and the leaves have begun to change. The aromas of warm coffee and the cool fall air waft through our car windows as we approach the venue in Rochester to see Turnover, Young Guv, and Cooler. Turnover in the fall is a pop punk kid’s staple as their dreamy melancholy melodies seemingly drift through the speakers with ease. Rochester was the first day of this small five-day East Coast tour which concluded at Riot Fest in Chicago on September 14th.
The show began with a well-received performance by local Buffalo indie rock band, Cooler.
Surprisingly, I’ve never seen or heard of them before despite having over 12K followers on Instagram, more than 160,000 streams on their top song, and nearly 7,000 monthly listeners, making them one of the most successful local Buffalo bands I’ve see yet. This three-piece indie band captured the audience with their authenticity and undeniable chemistry on stage. There are few bands in the world that, when they play together, all the instruments meld into one melody and the audience can hardly tell if they’re listening to a live band or a recorded track; Cooler is one of those bands. They play well with each other and their instruments always seem to complement each other flawlessly. Their catchy melodies had the already packed venue swaying back and forth as the audience discovered their new favorite locals.
After Young Guv exited the stage, we had the opportunity to talk to an old fan of lead singer, Ben Cook, who was able to give us some background about where Young Guv started. Ben Cook is an old favorite in the Toronto punk scene as he was the guitarist for No Warning and one of the vocalists for Fucked Up.
For the past four years though, he has been working on Young Guv, his latest pop rock/alternative project that has a completely different feel than his previous bands. I had no idea what to expect when the group of six guys took the stage; most of them were wearing sunglasses, the drummer was dressed like he was from a 70s rock band, the three guitar players were all wearing suits with t-shirts and the bass player was in a jean jacket. It felt like they were going for a 70s beach vibe which matched their sound perfectly. When I heard the first song, it felt as if I was instantly teleported to a beach in the middle of summer. Their performance was a fun, lighthearted showcase of their newest album GUV I and a couple of songs from their past releases that had the crowd dancing from start to finish.
Finally, Turnover took the stage in front of a packed Montage Hall filled with people waiting in anticipation to hear their favorite fall jams live. Although I was excited to see Turnover for the first time ever and sing along to songs I’ve been listening to since I was young, their live performance was thoroughly underwhelming, but I wasn’t surprised.
Turnover’s music isn’t as high-energy as some of the bands we’ve had the opportunity to see recently so I understand the difficulty in moving around. They are the type of band that thrives off of music so brilliant that their fans are willing to put up with a low-key performance just for the opportunity to sing along to songs like “Dizzy on the Comedown” and “New Scream”, me included. Additionally, Turnover is a very simple band and didn’t have much to say on stage either which threw me off a little bit, but still wasn’t a huge deal for me, their music speaks for itslef. If you’re looking for a performance that’s going to knock your socks off with how energetic the band is on stage, Turnover probably isn’t the band you want to see live. Despite that, I enjoyed how lowkey this show was since most of the shows I go to I spend fending off mosh pitters and keeping my eye out for crowd surfers, it was nice to be able to just relax and listen to really good music. Turnover’s performance may not have been energetic, but that allows them to perform their songs perfectly and every note is as distinct as the last. Just like a lot of the tours we’ve had the opportunity to see this fall, this tour wasn’t an album tour so it allowed them to play songs off their entire range of discography to satisfy old and new fans and to build hype around their next album which has been in the works for the past two years; needless to say, their fans are ready to hear the next era of Turnover, especially after their two singles “Much After Feeling” and “Plant Sugar” which were released the day after their performance in Rochester.
This two songs give us a little taste into what’s next for the band and features a completely different sound than their last two albums with more fast paced, punchy beats rather than light, airy, melancholic sounds that they featured in their last release Good Nature although I feel that this album follows their progression as a band. Through each release, they develop their sound more and more, changing aspects here and there but always sticking to their roots as an indie rock band. If you didn’t have the opportunity to catch them on this short run, don’t worry because after they release their next album, Altogether, on November 1st, a full US tour from November to December in addition to a European tour in October.