May 27, 2017
Franz Ferdinand, simply put, is an underrated band. In recent years, it feels like they have been unfairly pigeonholed as “one hit wonders” of the early 2000’s, all due to the infectious single “Take Me Out” off of their 2004 full-length debut. While the popularity of that song was undoubtedly on an inescapable level, their eponymous album featured incredible dance-punk cuts like “The Dark of the Matinee,” “Auf Achse,” and the deceptive opener, “Jacqueline,” which switches from acoustic Britpop to post-punk within the first minute of the album. Without a doubt, this album was probably one of the closest instances that the early 2000’s mainstream post-punk revival would get, sonically, to the likes of previous greats of the genre’s earlier waves, like Gang of Four or Josef K.
Now, around a decade after their initial mainstream success, Franz Ferdinand is back on the road for a North American tour. Granted, this is after lineup changes, three other albums, and even a merging project with the band Sparks, to form the supergroup FFS. Under circumstances such as this, one can wonder about a band’s choice of songs on their setlist, especially such ones with an extensive discography; regardless, there’s that one nagging thought that crosses everyone’s mind… “What exactly are they actually gonna play?” Would they abandon their great past tracks to make way for newer material?
Sure enough, they kicked their set off with an electrifying performance of “The Dark of the Matinee.” The crowd was ecstatic; everyone was dancing in the dark, reminiscent of the post-punk clubs that the music was born out of, but, of course, with it’s own modernized flavor to it. They carried on with “Do You Want To,” arguably their second biggest hit of their career, off of their second album.
Seeing these songs played live really show how important the bass guitar is to these song’s core. The bass player of Franz Ferdinand, Bob Hardy, is truly an unsung hero in terms of songwriting, or at least performance for the group. Throughout the night, they thundered through fan favorites like “The Fallen,” and “Ulysses,” with frontman Alex Kapranos’ keeping up the pace with his unrelentingly hype stage presence. They even pulled out “Darts of Pleasure,” their very first single as a band.
The band finished their set with an encore consisting of their classics “Jacqueline” and “This Fire” without sacrificing a bit of the momentum they’d been building up the entire night. Overall, their set was a tasteful array of the band’s entire discography; it was a night of great, fun music plucked from their abundant repertoire.
Oh, and of course they played the ubiquitous “Take Me Out.” They had to… they’re one hit wonders, right?
Check out the remaining 2017 Franz Ferdinand tour dates.