Franz Ferdinand Rediscovers Early Energy

Emily Fong, Co-News Editor

Scottish dance-punk band Franz Ferdinand played at the Fox Theatre in Oakland on Monday night, April 28.

The tour was launched in support of the band’s new studio album Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action. The album itself is an excellent follow up from the band’s previous effort Tonight: Franz Ferdinand. The new record is a return to the original fast-paced style of music that first catapulted the band into the cultural mainstream in 2004 with their self-titled debut and the energetic hit single “Take Me Out.” However, the concert was a mix of songs from everything in their discography.

I first fell in love with Franz Ferdinand, like many people, when “Take Me Out’s” foot-stomping charm and avant garde, Soviet-era inspired music video dominated the airwaves. Since then, the band’s follow-ups have been rather disappointing. Sophomore album You Can Have It So Much Better spawned a few memorable tunes. Their 3rd attempt, the aforementioned Tonight, is similarly lackluster.

The concert itself, however, was anything but forgettable. There was hardly an idle moment.

There’s much to be said about Franz’s stage presence. Frontman Alex Kapranos kept the energy level high throughout the entire night, beginning with the guitar-heavy single “Bullet” all the way to the encore and finale song, “Goodbye, Lovers & Friends.”

There are few true showmen like Kapranos anymore, who ran the concert with as much vigor as a circus ringleader egging on a cheering crowd. Whatever Kapranos asked, the audience did.

Even more impressive was the composition of the crowd. This was not a large group of teenagers, ready to let loose on a Monday night. This was not Arctic Monkeys or Lorde. The crowd was a mix of young and old. People in their teens mingled with people in their 20’s and 30’s.

Keeping the enthusiasm up for a solid two hours? On a Monday? Incredible.

People were jumping, moshing, dancing, and screaming along. Additionally, the on-stage theatrics that culminated in a four person drum solo were extraordinary. With this tour and album, Franz Ferdinand rediscovered what made their music so fun when they first broke onto the scene a decade ago.

The 2014 tour is the band’s first major headline event in North America since 2009, when they toured with the Bay Area-based trio Green Day.