Franz Ferdinand kicked off the first of two nights in Vancouver with "Lazy Boy" and the stellar, electrifyingly sexy "No You Girls." Frontman Alex Kapranos — suave and serving up nonchalant dance moves like he's the most popular guy at a high school dance — embodies a swagger not unlike Beck's. His low octave range allows the artist to come off as serious, but game for an ultra-good time.
The band's rock precision creates a dynamic between audience and artist that's wonderful to watch. Having been around since 2002, they drew fans from the very young to the middle-aged and got every one of them frenzied during hits like "Walk Away," "Take Me Out" and "Ulysses," the latter of which found concertgoers clapping above their heads with vigour and pounding their feet on the sticky floor. Kapranos showed masterful control over the crowd throughout; at one point, during set highlight and final encore song "This Fire," he even got them to drop low to the ground, knees hitting empty beer glasses on the floor and eyes fixed on the crooner. Guitarist Dino Bardot and bassist Bob Hardy added to the nonchalant, ultra-tight musicianship vibe Kapranos already had going.
Franz Ferdinand have swung into experimental disco-rock with their new album, its lead track "Always Ascending" — which kicked off the encore last night — featuring extensive synths and funk undertones. New song "Paper Cages" offered up some of the more profound lyrics the group have written lately, while their new disco edge gave the song — and the performance in general — an extra boost.
If last night's (December 5) sold-out show was any indication, Franz Ferdinand are still undoubtedly relevant. The indie rock vets may not be mainstays on the charts anymore, but they are certainly still mainstays to their many, many fans.