Archive for Saturday, September 24, 2005

That was easy’

Franz Ferdinand rouses Liberty Hall crowd

September 24, 2005

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One shot.

That's what it took to kill Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and to spark World War I. Remember eighth-grade world history class?

It's pretty clear Franz Ferdinand, the rock band, will have more than one shot to prove its mettle as a world-class musical group.

Sure, the near-sellout crowd that gathered Thursday night at Liberty Hall was drawn by the success of the band's "Take Me Out," an overplayed-yet-still-catchy tune with a guitar riff more addictive than Skittles. (And, for the record, the live version of the hit single is somehow better than the one that gets radio play.)

But after more than an hour of material from the band's first self-titled album, and its upcoming album, "You Could Have It So Much Better," it was clear Franz Ferdinand will be far more than a one-hit wonder.

The band manages an intoxicating fusion of rave-like dance beats and hard rock, music that's equally as easy to tap your toe to as head-bang to.

Frontman Alex Kapranos leads the way in giving the four-member band a Beatles-like aura on stage, while smiling and bobbing his foppish hair through the lyrics.

Franz Ferdinand

Franz Ferdinand

Franz Ferdinand joins the ranks of Modest Mouse as an indie band now accepted on top-40 radio stations. In performance, the musicians are not above clapping their hands, pumping a fist to please the crowd or having a big-time light show - actions other indie bands might scoff at. The freakishly skinny band members also did enough dancing on stage to spill at least two drinks (including one Red Stripe) at their feet, which were promptly mopped up by stagehands.

If the band has a downside, it's a lack of diversity in its music. Most songs are structured similarly, with a fast-paced guitar lick that carries the song. Some songs are designed like "Take Me Out," with an introductory, more melodic tune followed by another harder-rocking vamp that leads to another section of the song.

But darn if those guitar lines aren't catchy. And that's why, down the road when everybody takes notice beyond one hit single, people in Lawrence will say, "Remember when Franz Ferdinand played Liberty Hall?"

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