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Story and photos by Matt SchwenkeThree albums deep with the 2009 release of Tonight: Franz Ferdinand, Glasgow rockers Franz Ferdinand have proven they can write catchy rock singles, invading American pop culture in several ways-- major radio play, a track on Guitar Hero, etc.-- and with a full catalog to cull from, the band is proving to be an exceptional live act as they backed up their hit singles with a good dose of art rock.
At times described as dance-punk, Franz Ferdinand got the crowd moving with new hits like "No You Girls" and "Ulysses" and the classic cuts "This Fire" and "Take Me Out." Despite rhythm guitarist, keyboardist and backing vocalist Nick McCarthy taking the stage in crutches and being confined to a seat throughout the set, lead vocalist and guitarist Alex Kapranos was an aptly animated frontman who chatted it up with the crowd, at one point affectionately calling out a few audience members who wore costume-like makeup and were "going fucking mental" near the front of the stage, and eventually coaxed the crowd into letting loose a bit.
As the group's catalog grows, the art rock offerings like "Walk Away" may prove to create a remarkably diverse palate for a live show with the near-crooning of "Live Alone" and the infectiously catchy "Dark of the Matinee" alongside, but with so many club single sounds throughout the set, Franz Ferdinand, though having all the proper depth in sound, were a few plunges away from turning in a truly dynamic show.
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