Concert Review: Franz Ferdinand and Priests at First Avenue – Minneapolis, MN – April 26, 2018

Published by JB on April 28, 2018

Yes, Alex Kapranos looks younger in blonde hair.  Yes, ‘Take Me Out’ is still (and always will be) their signature live track – even if it isn’t their best.  And yes, they can easily sell out a venue that holds 1550 head-bobbing fans.

What Franz Ferdinand does is really remarkable.  With no hint of EDM, hip hop, or overwhelming synths as part of their sound – they’ve been able to attain tremendous danceability in their tracks throughout their ascending career.   As Kapranos now weaves into his 40’s age isn’t yet slowing him down.  We’ll see what happens when he hits 50.   Until that day arrives, put on your dancing Air Jordan’s.

Opening the show with the ethereal ‘Always Ascending’ off the new album of the same title, it showcases everything that is occasionally brilliant from the Glasgow band.  Quick, catchy changes in melody and a sound that leaps off the turntable.

Favorites such as ‘No You Girls’, ‘Take Me Out’ and ‘Ulysses’ sound as good as they day you first heard it on the radio (or during an Apple commercial).   The band’s music is truly meant for a lively, mid-sized venue such as Minneapolis’s First Avenue.

Kapranos merely uses his guitar as a dance partner while riffing perfectly on it.   He’s the textbook post-punk front man.  The loss of Nick McCarthy is merely a speed bump as Kapranos prowls the stage all night; even if he did look a little tired.

It will be interesting to see what direction the sound of Franz Ferdinand heads into the next decade.   It’s hard to sell post-punk, let’s dance, disco-like records when you approach the half century mark.   The band’s infrastructure is there for a transition to a more straight forward rock band but that will be a hard sell.   Until then, Franz Ferdinand will keep doing what so many other bands in the world can’t do.

–TWTHS

Setlist:

Always Ascending
The Dark of the Matinée
No You Girls
Glimpse of Love
Paper Cages
Do You Want To
Walk Away
Lois Lane
Darts of Pleasure
Love Illumination
Slow Don’t Kill Me Slow
Take Me Out
Huck and Jim
Ulysses
Lazy Boy
Michael
Feel the Love Go
This Fire

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