In 2009 Franz Ferdinand performed at different music festivals and at a more intimate venue in Saskatchewan. Each occasion came with its own highlights and defining moments, but the setlist was understandably routine. Three years later, at Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom, without a new album to promote or enough polished material to drastically shake things up, fans were treated to an almost carbon copy of performances past.
The evening began solid enough with a healthy helping of Atlanta-rockers Carnivores, who despite emanating a loud enough of a stage presence, just couldn’t manage to capture the attention of the already sizeable audience thirsty for Franz.
As soon as the headliners made their way onstage, they ripped into “Dark of the Matinee,” providing a rhythmic soundtrack for the crowd to unleash a portion of their pent-up energy. “No You Girls” followed immediately after, establishing the show as a showcase of previous Franz works instead of a peek behind the curtains at anything new.
“Oh, that sounds so fucking polite. How are ya doing tonight Vancouver?” frontman Alex Kapranos egged the audience on after a middling applause, causing a tsunami of appreciation to encase the stage as the high-powered “Michael” took over. The rest of the evening consisted of a healthy dose from each of the band’s three albums, with “This Fire” acting as a faux closer. After performing the song drenched in red and white lighting, the band disappeared backstage, only to return a minute later with a surprisingly tame encore. The nearly seven-minute rendition of “Outsiders,” which culminated in a free-for-all on the drums, with each member wielding their own drum sticks, would’ve been an exciting climax — if it hadn’t been the fourth time that I saw them close a show with it.
By Jacey Gibb
Photo: Leigh Eldridge