Praise, praise, praise Franz Ferdinand for luxuriating in that disco-funk-rock thing they’ve got going on. The Glasgow-based quartet had a small break after album three, 2009’s Tonight, and it’s proven to be a powerful reboot. What a treasure it was to see singer/guitarist Alex Kapranos, singer/guitarist Nick McCarthy, bassist Bob Hardy and drummer/backup vocalist Paul Thomson at work again.
Best-known for their debut worldwide mega hit “Take Me Out,” Franz Ferdinand has continued to create original music. I am not sure how it feels to be the most emulated band in rock – which is what they are, don’t doubt it. I would imagine it creates a pressure to change how you sound. But really, I don’t think Franz Ferdinand cares. That is, I think they are so rightly involved in their own art process they’re not going to worry about copycats. The band is such a serious musical force, and as a fan I always appreciate how absolutely seriously they take their work. They never sound tired, and they know just the right amount of any given instrument to emphasize or to play down when needed.
That they’ve got legions of fans who adore this handsome band is just common sense and good taste. Some of these fans grabbed up tickets to their Seattle Showbox appearance, and were treated to a rampant and outrageously good show. It’s not just because I’m a fan that I felt this incredible force around this show – the entire audience on the floor hopped up and down like mad things during several songs. It was a glorious sight. My top songs of the evening were the sleazy and taunting “Michael,” the dramatic “The Dark of the Matinée,” “Can’t Stop Feeling” mashed up with Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love” – joining that disco rock oh so well with an Alex Kapranos channeling the Queen of Disco – and if I could write in caps here I would: “Shopping for Blood.” This song is one of my absolute Franz Ferdinand favorites. I hoped they would perform it. And yes, they did, within an inch of its life. The song is a classic tour de force. Other goodies included “No You Girls,” “Ulysses,” “The Fallen,” “Do You Want To” and the Nick McCarthy-led “Tell Her Tonight.” Oh, and “Take Me Out.” The new material, which will no doubt appear on the yet to be released album this year, was also hot stuff. “Scarlet Blue” and “Trees and Animals” in particular stood out to me as especially fabulous.
The last song of the evening was “Outsiders,” which ended with each band member drumming on Thomson’s kit. Thomson did a little crowd surfing, and then they were gone. Leave your audience wanting more, right? I want more.