Franz Ferdinand / Delays / The Futureheads The Docks, Toronto ON - October 1, 2004

Franz Ferdinand / Delays / The Futureheads The Docks, Toronto ON - October 1, 2004
Franz Ferdinand's success story will definitely be up there when it comes to the best of 2004. Four skinny, art-obsessed fancy boys seducing the world with a song that after one minute completely does a 180 into a disco number was not expected at the turn of this year. By now they've sold over two million copies of their debut worldwide and judging by the crowd at the Docks, it seems that every sort is listening. Before they took the stage, two new up-and-coming British bands were looking to cash in on their prime support slots. Sunderland's the Futureheads fared well, matching the post-punk excitement of Franz Ferdinand but with a terseness that calls more for rigid bouncing than debonair dance moves. Their first time in Canada, the perky foursome debuted songs from their impressive self-titled record, striking chords with songs like the effervescent "Decent Days and Nights" and "Robot." Unfortunately, Southampton's Delays failed to keep the spark alight. Their wispy '60s-friendly shoegazer pop felt out of place in a room filled with people looking to jump around. "Long Time Coming" and "Hey Girl" prove they have catchy numbers but the deplorable funk in "Stay Where You Are" completely transformed the set from dull to trying. Franz Ferdinand knew exactly what the crowd wanted and decided it was the night to bring it. Dressed in super-tight shirts and pants, the slender quartet kicked it off with the fiery "Cheating On You," which they followed with the entirety of their popular album. When "Take Me Out" set the floor ablaze with its dazzling dance beat, it seemed a little hastier than usual, but no one was willing to notice. Guitarist/keyboardist Nick McCarthy made good use of his hands, multi-tasking with the two instruments as well as the occasional rhythmic finger pointing. Though a slight technical glitch with the speakers caused some momentary head scratching, the performance was a master class on how to make leftfield pop music appealing to the masses.