(Photos by Gary Magill)
It’s been a decade since Franz Ferdinand released their self-titled debut album and dropped the bomb that was “Take Me Out”. After the music video received heavy attention on MTV that summer, the album broke Billboard’s top 50 and sold one million copies. Since then they’ve toured the circuits and grown a loyal fandom, steadily crafting anthemic indie rock instead of fading into post-aughts obscurity.
The Fox Theater is best attended by bands who can deliver a HUGE sound, and Franz Ferdinand did not fail to bring that main stage festival effect indoors. Kicking things off with “Bullet” and “The Dark of the Matinee”, a massive screen behind the bandmates flashed first monochrome then warm-hued geometric shapes as a visual boost. Lasting an hour and 45 minutes, the set began primarily with hits from their first two ablums, Franz Ferdinand and You Could Have It So Much Better released in 2005. With an inordinate amount of sustained energy, the songs seamlessly transitioned into each other without any fumblings or awkwardness.
As the evening veered more towards performances from their most recent release, Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, the crowd’s attention waned. While more than well-received in the UK, this 2013 album will probably not stick as a favorite for US audiences. Here Franz Ferdinand lost some of their angular appeal, instead relying more heavily on dance-heavy hooks instead of half-smirk lyrics.
Most epic moment of the night? When all four members grabbed drumsticks and collectively hammered on the one drum set, crowding around drummer Paul Thomson until all walked off-stage before the encore. It looks like a new album is in the works, because during said encore they played a new song, as well as inviting Welsh opener Cate Le Bon on-stage to sing a chilling cover of Blondie’s “Call Me”.