In December of last year, I sat down with three Chrises of Domino Records US to talk about Franz Ferdinand. They played some of the album and said that this band was going to be HUGE. Whenever someone makes that claim, especially the band's label, it should be taken with a grain of salt - not in this case, however. The band has spent the better part of 2004 working to make that goal a reality. From the cover of NME to Buzzworthy status on MTV in a few short months, with a much-talked-about performance at the year's first industry buzz generating emporium, SXSW, thrown in for good measure, the guys of Franz Ferdinand have been pegged as superstars in the making by just about everyone. On Saturday, they stopped by Chicago for a sold out show at the Metro to give Chicagoans another look at the wave of the future.
And when the Chicago Tribune's Greg Kot and Metro owner Joe Shanahan turn out for the fun, you know that this was indeed the place to be.
The band, the most European-looking quartet I've seen in quite some time, flamboyantly rocked the hell out of the crowd for a full hour. Diametrically opposed to Jesse Malin's performance the night before, Franz spent little time bantering with the crowd. Since it was inconceivable to me that the members of the band and I speak the same language (as I could not understand a single word spoken during the extent of the show) it was probably a good idea that they kept the talking to a minimum.
From the second Franz Ferdinand took the stage, the crowd was nuts. Anticipation was high for this show. As I said, the hipster/new music community has been championing this band for some time and, as was evident by the crowd make up, Average Joe Business Guy and College Sorority Girl have also been taken in by the hype machine. As they've been doing all year long, Franz more than lived up to that hype. The crowd became more and more enthralled with the band as the night went on. Their tight pants, striped shirts, snakeskin shoes, sparkly red guitar, and Euro-tastic electro dance moves were a hit and impossible not to fall in love with. The band ran through the majority of their self-titled debut album, playing their first US single, "Take Me Out," only about 4 songs in. "Matinee" "Auf Asche," "Jaqueline" and more were all tackled and to my surprise, the fans were singing along for the better portion of set (and not just the choruses). My personal fave of the night was the show closer "Darts Of Pleasure." Everyone there was lucky to have caught them at as intimate a venue as the Metro. I would be surprised if they came back to the venue in the near future, unless it was for a two-night-stand.
Finishing at 10pm, the super fantastique gig was just the beginning of a long night that included an improv comedy show and a 4:30 AM trip to IHOP for an International Passport Breakfast with Swedish pancakes, cheesy hash browns, bacon, eggs and dry white toast in honor of Elwood Blues. mmmmmmmmmm, cheesy hash browns (said like Homer Simpson).