After an abrupt cancellation of the entire festival of Lollapalooza, due to rain, and a mass exodus of 100,000 people wandering confused in the streets, there was no certainty that Franz Ferdinand would even get to play. The rain came, it poured, it flooded the sewers, then the festival was back on…now with mud! As hoards of people flew through the gates to their prospective stages, I darted straight for the Bud Light stage where Franz Ferdinand was set to play about an hour after their original set time. They played an energetic and exciting set filled with songs from their 2009 album, Tonight as well as some of their more hidden gems from their two previous albums. Some of the most exhilarating moments, however, came when they played 3 or 4 songs from their new upcoming album, which has no title yet.
The new songs got the crowd really pumped up and enthused for the new album to come out. In fact, just about every song had the entire field jumping. Opening with one of my all time favorites “The Dark of the Matinée” immediately got the crowd’s attention. It didn’t matter that we were standing in a pile of mud and every step and jump splashed liquid all over the legs of the music lover behind you. I was soaked from the knees down in mud after the set, but I couldn’t have cared less. I guess I should have prefaced this with the fact that I am a huge fan girl for Franz Ferdinand. I have longingly wanted to see them live since their first album. But for one reason or another, it never worked out in my favor. I was beginning to feel like it was fate to never see them live when the fest was abruptly cancelled today.
Another stand out song for me was “Michael” which for some reason I never thought they would play live. What might have been even more surprising than the band playing this song was the enormous amount of people that not only recognized the song but knew all the words. I don’t care that the show was cancelled mid day and many acts were cut completely from the bill, Franz Ferdinand were the best act of the entire day and I’ll go ahead and say it, the festival so far! The crowd was so receptive to the band. Every time Alex Kapranos put his arms together above his head, the entire crowd obliged him with the same moves. It was really amazing watching the crowd on the side panel screens all moving in unison to a song.
Although they played many crowd favorites from “Ulysses”, “Take Me Out” to “No You Girls”, it was “Can’t Stop Feeling” that truly blew the crowd away. The guys extended the song to almost ten minutes with many electronic synth riffs added in and more passion between each chorus. It was amazing. Needless to say, I had a blast and I think most of the crowd with me did as well. It’s a shame they played right after the torrential downpour because the huge screen behind the band wasn’t working properly and it wasn’t until about half way through their set that the crew managed to get the side panel screens up and running for those about half a mile back. Nevertheless it was a perfect set, screen or no screen.
Their new album has no name, to my knowledge, and no official date for release, but I encourage you all to look forward to it when it becomes available.
by Bethany Smith