Franz Ferdinand – Live

Tonight; Franz Ferdinand was Right....
Franz Ferdinand : Live

Franz Ferdinand : Live

Tonight: Franz Ferdinand is actually the name of the band’s third full-length (QRO review), but it’s also an apt summing up of the group, as they approach and deliver their shows as an event, dance party and rock ‘n’ roll show.  Admittedly, that dance hasn’t changed a great deal since their break-through, self-titled debut LP in 2004, but they still know how to bring it in the “Dark of the Matinée”, like at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom on Tuesday, October 22nd.

Hammerstein Ballroom

Paul ThomsonThe sold-out show at the bigger-than-you-knew Hammerstein Ballroom (QRO venue review) was the group’s first in New York since playing the now-soon-to-close Roseland Ballroom (QRO venue review) back in 2009 (QRO review), save for a secret gig at Brooklyn’s much smaller Glasslands (QRO venue review) earlier this year, billed as a ‘listening party’ for their new release, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action (QRO review).  The Hammerstein show was the ‘proper’ NYC stop on the Right tour, and naturally songs from it dominated the set list.  However, Franz Ferdinand have reached the point in their career where they don’t have to shy away from playing their early Franz Ferdinand hits, and are able to just knock out the great, accessible songs from their other albums.

Alex KapranosThe evening began with a strong “Bullet” from Right, but naturally that was followed up by an early single, in this case “Dark of the Matinée”.  The early third of the show most displayed that, even if Franz follow-ups You Could Have It So Much Better and Tonight followed Franz in sound, and thus couldn’t be as revelatory and original as the original, they contained some choice songs, such as “No You Girls” from Tonight and “Do You Want To?” & “Walk Away” from Better.

Bob HardyThe middle of the set relatively lagged, save for a snippet of “I Feel Love” by Donna Summer during Tonight’s “Can’t Stop Feeling”, but then the old songs brought it in the second half of the evening.  After Better’s “The Fallen” was Franz’s “This Fire” and breakthrough single “Take Me Out” back-to-back – it was all-red lighting during “Fire” (thankfully well after photographers had left the pit; red lighting always messes with photos), and a huge uproar for “Take”.  Franz’s wonderful wish-he-was-gay dance anthem “Michael” also performed excellently, though putting Right’s “Love Illumination” in between “Take” & “Michael” meant that the newer song couldn’t help but get lost in their shadows.  Right’s “Goodbye Friends & Lovers” led into the encore break, and Right came back at possibly its best performance in the title track for the encore return.  The three main speakers on the stage had the words “THOUGHTS”, “WORDS”, and “ACTION” written on them, with the album art as the backdrop.

Franz Ferdinand

Nick McCarthyDuring “Michael”, guitarist Nick McCarthy climbed the “THOUGHTS” speaker, something he certainly couldn’t have done at Roseland (he had a leg in a cast that night – but still performed then, albeit from a stool, after coming on stage on crutches).  The whole band was excited, even if you couldn’t understand singer/guitarist Alex Kapranos’ between-song chatter through his thick Scottish brogue (he thank the openers, but who wouldn’t want to thank “Casual Sex with Frankie Rose” – QRO Casual Sex photos; QRO Frankie Rose photos).  For the final song, “Outsiders”, Kapranos, McCarthy, and bassist Bob Hardy all put down their axes, moved away from their titled speakers, and came in to drummer Paul Thomson’s kit, for a raucous close.  ‘Tonight: Franz Ferdinand’ was one to remember.

Franz Ferdinand

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