Franz Ferdinand for Free


Author: Sasha Pokrovskaya

Never failing to deliver, Franz Ferdinand performed an energetic set at Amoeba Music in Hollywood last Friday, Jan. 30. Erik Quezada (senior) organized a trip to Amoeba, offering 12 other Oxy students transportation to the free show.

“As an R.A., it’s my responsibility to make sure that programs like this happen,” Quezada said. “I like to do programming that I also have an interest in, so I figured why not advertise to the general Oxy population as well? It gave me an opportunity to meet other students I probably would not have met otherwise.”

The 40-minute concert included hits from the band’s third album, Tonight, which was released last Tuesday. The short set served to introduce Franz Ferdinand’s new album to fans, as well as provide a bit of a preview for their upcoming concert at Coachella, the line-up of which was released that same day.

Most audience members started queuing at 4:30 p.m. for the 7 p.m. concert, although some die-hard fans arrived even earlier.

Somehow we managed to stay excited after waiting in line for over an hour. Luckily, we were among the last ten people to be admitted through the doors. At least eighty unfortunate fellow fans were told to leave.

The audience varied from devoted fans to those who were only there to enjoy a free show – even toddlers were added into the mix. As a result, the level of energy among crowd members varied. Still, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves, though some were dancing more enthusiastically than others.

The band permitted only non-flash photography during the first two songs and recording was completely forbidden. Bouncers employed by Amoeba threateningly patrolled the aisles enforcing the rules. As a venue, Amoeba music provides good acoustics, but the aisles of records disconnected the audience and blocked the view for those of us of shorter stature.

Shockingly, the band’s live sound is leaps and bounds better than their recorded sound. Unlike other bands I have heard in the past, they are rhythmically tight and well-rehearsed. Franz Ferdinand performs very energetically, oozing enthusiasm without sounding overly rehearsed.

The live experience improved upon the recordings, featuring improvised guitar solos by Alex Kapranos. Backing Kapranos’ smooth and unique voice, keyboard player Nick McCarthy delivered fantastic riffs as he danced on-stage.

Despite trying to promote their new album, Franz Ferdinand remembered the classics that put them on the charts in the first place. In between performances of songs from their new album, they played “Dark of the Matinee” and “Do You Want To.” Still, some audience members voiced disappointment that the band did not perform their biggest hit, “Take Me Out.”

It was easy to see that the Scottish band is blessed with talent. Their sound does not come from doctoring their recordings, a too common occurance today, but rather from genuinely good voices. At the end of the forty minutes, the audience was left wanting more. Conveniently, they found themselves in a record store, where they could purchase the new album. In my opinion, Tonight, although good, doesn’t live up to their previous two records. However, it does provide more variety with both lyrical pieces, like “Katherine Kiss Me,” and club hits, like “Lucid Dreams.”

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