Franz Ferdinand 6/5/17

(a) setlist

    1. Jacqueline
    2. No You Girls
    3. The Dark of the Matinee
    4. Paper Cages
    5. Do You Want To
    6. Walk Away
    7. Stand on the Horizon
    8. Lazy Boy
    9. The Fallen
    10. Michael
    11. Huck & Jim
    12. Take Me Out
    13. Ulysses

Encore:

  1. Always Ascending
  2. Darts of Pleasure
  3. Love Illumination
  4. This Fire

(b) highlights

  • Franz. motherflipping. Ferd. i. nand.
  • “Stand on the Horizon”! “Darts of Pleasure”!!!! Also, every other song.
  • Warsaw is kind of a fantastic venue and slowly become a favorite of mine
  • The crowd was a joy for the most part; awesome Franz fans were surrounding us with only one sour grape and everyone was so, so happy to be seeing these guys for the first non-festival real show since late 2013. That is way too long to go without them
  • Let’s all use this opportunity to give Bob Hardy a shoutout – what a bass player, what a gem, what a guy
  • throwback to that brief month in mid-2013 when I sang that bit from “Ulysses” every day: “laaaa la la la la, Ulysseeeeees” – what a time
  • Alex ripped his shirt sometime before the encore and like, just kept playing and his entire right side was exposed and it was so punk rock, but in a Scottish art school kind of way.

(c) lowlights

  • one crappy person in the crowd and that’s it; this show was a gem

(d) overall thoughts

I will never as long as I live not love Franz Ferdinand. Even when they’ve put out music I wasn’t crazy about, I still liked it and respected it more than other groups I like. Everything Franz has ever done has been deliberate, artful, and with joy – what more could a fan ask for?

This night at the Warsaw was just fantastic, even including the fact that there were two openers. Alex Kapranos, forever a joyful and hammy frontman, was quick on his toes and jacknifed more than a few scissor kicks while playing guitar. His hair is long and his face looks a bit older than we remember him, but the whole package is still there. You can tell that he’s still revitalized by the music they play and really enjoys himself up there. Bob Hardy on bass is the textbook definition of solid bassist – not very quick to take to the spotlight but whose presence would be immediately noticeable if he were gone. He has an air of Mark Stoermer in his playing, but with a bit more of a smile and I love it.

The obvious standouts in the set – “Do You Want To,” “The Fallen,” and “Michael,” to name a few – don’t make the tracks before and after pale in comparison, but instead bolster the performance. With red shoes tapping on hardwood floor, Alex remained spry even through the unbearably fast songs and thoughtfully measured during the ballads. I could’t help but let my mind wander during their performance, asking myself what could’ve and might’ve been if America had embraced this band in the same way they took to Arctic Monkeys in the last decade. As I mentioned after seeing Franz at Gov Ball, their influence is still resonating throughout the indie genre to this day; Franz might suitably be the grandfathers of the modern new wave genre, but how many people actually acknowledge that?

In a world where The Strokes are somehow worshipped for creating the post-punk revival, I constantly ask myself where Franz Ferdinand sits. Even if they never quite get the recognition they deserve in their own musical lifetimes, I have no doubt that their forebears will remember their lasting effect. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve heard an audience sing guitar riffs aloud and two of those times were when Franz played “Take Me Out.” That means something. this band means something, their music means something, and the memories they forge with every performance of their timeless songs will forever mean something, if only to me.

 

Bottom line: Franz Ferdinand are nothing but treasures. If I could ever in some way make a mark on how we conceive of new wave alternative music, or the post-punk revival of the 21st century, I will be the first pallbearer and light to illuminate the works of Franz. I might hope that they forever live on, but, luckily, I know their music always will.

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