‘Flipturn’ brings astrological dreamscape to The Thunderbird

Written By Alexis Wary, Staff Photographer

Rather than having the pleasure of eating hot wings doused in ranch while watching America’s most beloved sport, I felt a concert on Super Bowl Sunday would be more entertaining. Specifically, the indie/alternative band Flipturn at the Thunderbird, with Hotel Fiction opening. 

Based out of Fernandina Beach, FL, Frontman Dillon Basse, lead guitarist and bassist Madeline Jarman began holding their jam sessions in Madelines basement, eventually leading to new music and new members Devon VanBalson on drums and Mitch Fountain on synth and guitar.  

In 2022, after multiple EPs had been released and fan favorites were made, Flipturn released their first Album and showglow and later announced the tour to follow it. With inspiration from cinematic soundtracks and 2010s indie rock, Flipturn provides listeners with a longing for summertime nature walks and an overall groovy vibe. 

The sold out show had people wrapped around the building and huddling together in the bitter cold. Despite this, fans waited with anticipation and were fully aware of the talent that would soon grace the stage. 

Indie pop band Hotel Fiction were the openers for the night. With little to no awareness of who they were in the crowd, people quickly became aware of how phenomenal this band was. The mix of powerful on stage presence and chemistry immediately drew in the audience’s attention. 

Driven by heavy beats, unique melodies from the scythe, and some of the best vocals I have heard at a live gig, they couldn’t have left a better impression. With an overall feeling of utter shock due to the talent that hotel Fiction presented, Flipturn was set up in the best way possible. 

After a quick restroom break and the impulse decision to buy a Hotel Fiction long sleeve, the audience as a whole were eager for Flipturn to step on stage. The music began to fade and everyone was aware that Flipturn was about to step on stage. 

Despite this build up, the sound guy tricked us all with the abrupt sound of the NFL theme song, bringing us back to reality that hundreds of millions of people were watching a football game and not a concert in Lawrenceville.

With much relief, Flipturn shortly after stepped on stage to play their set. With a wool grandpa sweater and a calm presence, Basse and their band open with their song “The Fall”. With a lighthearted riff and mellow vocals that build, this song brought on an ethereal feeling.

After a quick thank you once the song ended, the drummer began to tear down parts of his drum. With only a moment of confusion, the audience began to realize that the drummer was going to have members of the crowd hold the drums while he played, similar to what Twenty- One Pilots drummer Josh Dun does at shows. 

This interactive drum solo led into the song, “Halfway”,  a super vibey and romantic song about a roadtrip to Houston, TX. Not being familiar with this song, I was immediately taken aback by the wholeness of the lyrics, “Still smell your lips, I still taste your hair.”

In an unexpected manner, the band covered “Everybody Wants To Rule The World” by Tears for Fears in the most amazing way. Almost as if it was their own, this song perfectly resembles the sound that Flipturn is creating. 

“Space Cowboy”, a beloved song by me, was one of the last songs on their set. With a resounding applause and plead for an encore, their well deserved fan favorite “August” played followed by the upbeat song “Nickel” with a call and response near the end closed out the night. 

The overall show was a dreamscape of astrological sounds and beautiful entertainment. In the wake of Goofy Goober sending us out the door,  the audience was left with a feeling of content and longing for a concert just like the one that Flipturn and Hotel Fiction put on.