Sunday, May 10, 2009

Franz Ferdinand at Roseland Ballroom, NYC: 5/7/09

Franz Ferdinand first came on the scene five years ago, with a self-titled debut that is arguably still their most popular album to this day. But the band is still alive and kicking, and currently touring in support of their latest album Tonight: Franz Ferdinand.

I finally got a chance to see them live at New York City's Roseland Ballroom this past Thursday, and I'm glad to say that they truly lived up to their reputation as a fantastic live act. The band members seemed genuinely excited to perform in the packed venue, and their constant energy was infectious, causing attendees to dance and sing along throughout the show.

Frontman Alex Kapranos oozed confidence, swaggering and pouting in true rock star fashion, while jumping around and throwing in some high kicks. It was impressive to see how well he could still play while performing these antics. He also threw in a bit of humor, poking fun at guitarist/keyboardist Nick McCarthy, who injured his foot during this tour. Kapranos referred to McCarthy as the man with "one and a half feet," and the good-natured McCarthy grinned and made it a point to wave his crutches around every time he hobbled on and off stage.

As far as the set was concerned, the band did a good job of mixing things up by including well-loved songs from their debut, as well as their previous album You Could Have It So Much Better. The band fiddled with the tempo on songs like "Walk Away," and there were times when Kapranos just skipped the singing altogether to let the audience fill in the words. Songs like " 40' " (much "trippier" live) became major highlights during the show.

The concert wound down with a high-energy encore, starting with "Ulysses" and continuing with "Lucid Dreams," which was the epitome of organized chaos. Opening act Born Ruffians joined Franz Ferdinand for the latter, pounding away at a drum kit during the song's synthesizer-fueled ending. Franz Ferdinand then brought down the house with their final song of the night, "This Fire," nearly causing a riot near the front of the stage where attendees danced and jumped around in a fervor that caused the floor to shake. "We're gonna burn this city," indeed.

Watch an excerpt of Franz performing "The Fallen" (the opener from You Could Have It So Much Better) during Thursday night's concert, and then check out the full setlist below:

Setlist: Bite Hard, Dark of the Matinee, No You Girls, Tell Her Tonight, The Fallen, Michael, Turn it On, Walk Away, Twilight Omens, Do You Want To, Take Me Out, What She Came For, 40', Outsiders

Encore: Ulysses, Lucid Dreams, This Fire

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