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December 5th, 2008
Last night, by a stroke of pure magic, I acquired a last minute ticket to Franz Ferdinand’s dead-sold-out show at Lee’s Palace. The show was part of a string of very select dates in North America in advance promotion of their upcoming third album Tonight: Franz Ferdinand. Needless to say, tickets were selling on Craigslist for upwards of $80 each (4x face value). I’ll remind you that the capacity at Lee’s Palace is 550, and last time Franz Ferdinand rolled through town, they played at Ricoh Coliseum (which is 7000). Add to that the fact that this 19+ show announcement came virtually out of nowhere and that their upcoming third album Tonight: Franz Ferdinand is hotly anticipated, and you have a LOT of frantic/angry/disappointed Franz fans on your hands.
I didn’t get a chance to see openers Born Ruffians but I trust that they ushered in the Scottish foursome in style. At 10pm, Franz Ferdinand took the stage and the eager crowd perked up for what would be 75 minutes of astonishingly tight live music. I’ve seen Franz Ferdinand a bunch of times and they never disappoint. They always bring so much energy to the stage and the four of them are so, so in tune with each other’s skills and abilities. You’d be hard pressed to find a missed note or beat out of time in their set – they just sound so tight.
From memory, they played nine new songs throughout the evening, but it was fan favourites like The Fallen that really got the crowd going – frontman Alex Kapranos hardly had to sing the chorus at all, instead allowing the throngs of sweaty indie kids do it for him. By the time Dark Of The Matinee was performed, Alex was fully into the set, smiling and prancing around the stage with full force.
* Sometime since the last tour, drummer Paul Thomson acquired a giant neck tattoo (regardless of your tattoo preferences, you can agree that neck tattoos are pretty hardcore)
* The room was HOT. Like, unbearably so at times. It was a thick, hot and stuffy air that would have even the most robust pair of lungs gasping for air. Fans may already know that Alex Kapranos has asthma, and we were reminded of this fact when he reached for his beclovent inhaler a few times throughout the set. He made it through the set like a champ though.
The highlight of the evening for me came when the band performed new song What She Came For – it’s a ridiculously tight and catchy song that ended with an electrifying guitar solo and then drum interlude that had all four members (and a sound guy!) pounding on the kit.
Tonight: Franz Ferdinand is out January 26, 2009.
Franz Ferdinand @ Lee’s Palace, December 4, 2008
Do You Want To
Turn It On
Dark Of The Matinee
Katherine Kiss Me
Take Me Out
What She Came For