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VLOG Review: Franz Ferdinand: Boston 4-10-2018

 Alex Kapranos looks for a response from the audience in attendance

Alex Kapranos looks for a response from the audience in attendance

Franz Ferdinand first entered my life in 2004 as either a junior or senior in high school as they hit the scene hot with what is still their most recognized song today, "Take Me Out." Back then, my interest in music was only just beginning to bud. As the years went on and I went through college, my interest in music and (more specifically) the Scottish group slowly grew, eventually becoming a point of connection between myself and a cute girl in my college ceramics class - who went on to become the girl I'm still with, seven years on. 

Franz Ferdinand performing 2004 song "Jacqueline" last year in Northampton with their new lineup

We both took in our second Franz Ferdinand performance in the last year (the band also stopped by Northampton last year on a tour of secondary markets they'd never hit before) and 14 years after they first hit the scene, Franz Ferdinand could be found on stage at the House of Blues, still doing what they do best - performing killer and danceable rock music to a capacity room.

Dubbed the opening night of the tour (the band played two nights prior in Toronto as a warmup), Franz Ferdinand came out guns-blazing with new material as they played eight of ten tracks off of their glossy new album Always Ascending, the bands fifth full-length album. The band has gone through some change since it's original iteration, as original guitarist Nick McCarthy departed for family reasons prior to the creation of the latest record. He has since been replaced by two new members - guitarist Dino Bardot and guitartist/keys player Julian Corrie.

Franz Ferdinand - Always Ascending (Boston 4-10-2018) 

The night started off with the lead-off eponymous single, a slow burn that swells into a sudden full-blown banger.  Surrounded by a tremendous and on-point light display, the band continued to work into it's groove as they progressed through the setlist. Lead singer Alex Kapranos strutted about the stage with increasing swagger and his signature jumps and kicks, stirring up the band's fans. Another early highlight was the fifth song of the night, the synth-heavy "Glimpse of Love", a particular favorite of this fan with mentions of photographers in the chorus of the track.

Franz Ferdinand - Glimpse of Love (Boston 4-10-2018)

Still, even with the great new tracks, bands have to give the fans what they want and that often includes the older hits. With fans clamoring and chanting "Michael" (a track off of their 2004 debut LP), Kapranos and the band indulged as they broke right into the fast-paced tune halfway through their set. Two songs later, the opening notes to the aforementioned "Take Me Out" hit the concert-goers ears and there was a rush at the front of the stage as euphoria took place all around me, complete with fans jumping, dancing and singing along to the 2004 anthem.

Franz Ferdinand - Michael (Boston 4-10-2018)

Franz Ferdinand - Take Me Out (Boston 4-10-2018) 

After completing the initial 14 song set and a brief break backstage, the band returned to perform a 4 song encore, complete with a surprise selection in the form of "Lucid Dreams" (A particular favorite of mine off of 2009's Tonight: Franz Ferdinand). They also saved two of the stronger tracks off of LP5, "Lazy Boy" and "Feel the Love Go", where Kapranos took the liberty of extending the conclusion of the song in order to introduce his bandmates and stir up the crowd one last time before launching into "This Fire", a song that led to Kapranos requesting the crowd on the floor all go down low to ground level before bursting back up for a furious and raucous finish. The band took their final bows, as is customary with the gang from Glasgow, and deparated the stage for the final time.

Franz Ferdinand - Feel The Love Go (Boston 4-10-2018)

Franz Ferdinand - This Fire (Boston 4-10-2018) 

Kapranos urges the crowd to get low to the ground before exploding to the finish line. 

Franz Ferdinand continue their North American tour into Washington DC, Philadelphia and beyond from here on out. Many thanks to them for making two Massachusetts appearances within a year and continuing to provide electric music/performances. 

 

Always Ascending is out now via Domino Records.

See the full setlist from the night on setlist.fm

See more videos from this show on my youtube page.

See videos from last year's Northampton performance on my youtube page.

Patrick Garriepy