Last night I went to my first ever Franz Ferdinand concert. I know, I bet you thought I’d been to lots of Franz concerts. Nope, just this one. Right up front, here’s my verdict: of course they were good, that’s just a given, but I certainly could have enjoyed the show better. Why? Because I’ve spoiled myself and gotten used to getting as close to the stage as possible at far too many great concerts this last year and last night I had to sit in a seat plenty far from the stage. Now, it wasn’t the worst seat, in fact, for a seat far from the stage, it was pretty good . . . pretty much the exact center of the theater, looking straight at the stage. But I still felt so distant and cut off from the band and the energy of the floor. For me to enjoy a concert, it’s key that I’m right in the thick of it and at a place where I feel a connection to the performers. When my rockstars are over 40' from me, I might as well be watching TV. Good TV, but TV nonetheless. Also, the show wasn't loud enough. I need my concerts to be really, really loud. Still, don’t let me sound too negative, it was great to finally catch the guys and it really looked like they were putting on quite the performance for the people on the floor.
These are things observed at Franz:
-Entering section 200 of the Theater at Madison Square Garden the very, very first thing I see is Mitch’s head bouncing up and down down on the main floor.
-During my first 5 minutes I see at least three Jersey-looking guys wearing Franz t-shirts beneath blazers. I wonder, is there a Brit Pop Hot Topic where these guys are getting their blazers from?
-My ticket said no cameras. I obeyed. Absolutely everyone around me has a camera, security couldn't care less. Oh well.
-Cut Copy, the first opening band, is good.
-Before playing one of their last songs of the night, Cut Copy’s front man tells the audience to “dance like crazy for this one”, or something like that. A terribly obese man pulls his t-shirt up over his head and runs laps at the rear of the main floor. This is something that I get to see that most of the kids on the main floor don’t, so I’ve got that going for me.
-By the end of the night I’ll see an infinite number of people wearing Franz t-shirts at the concert. Good, because I almost forgot what band I was going to be seeing, or almost didn’t consider that maybe the people around me were Franz fans, too.
-I predict that pink & grey striped Franz t-shirts will be very popular tomorrow (today) at middle schools in and around New York city.
-There’s that guy! Jared!
-Someone is blowing bubbles behind me. Lost in the 90’s, I bet she likes Franz because they're so alternative.
-Geesh, what sort of rock snob am I becoming?
-The DJ plays “Dare” right before TV on the Radio comes on.
-Oh, there’s Bronques from Last Night’s Party taking pictures from the pit. Of course.
-If I were to write an article about TV on the Radio it would be called “Your Rock and Roll Band Means Nothing to Me.”
-And in that article I would say “TV on the Radio is like Bloc Party, if no one liked Bloc Party.”
-After TV on the Radio I the DJ plays a song by the Fall. And a version of “Popcorn.”
-Wait, over there in the aisle, is that Broek? I’m sure I’d know if she were in New York. Her spitting image, at least.
The opening bands played very brief sets and Franz did not take a long time to get started. I’m sure lots of people were caught off guard, standing in line for nachos, when the band took the stage.
The Set-List: We Only Work When We Need the Money/The Rip of Nerves/Your Friends Are All So Arty/She's Not So Special/If We Were Feckless We'd Be Fine/You'd Have a Happy Life if You Did the Things You Like/I Think You'd Prefer to Be Miserable Instead/Sticky Hair, Sticky Hips/Bleed a Blackened Tear/I'm Just a Crosshair/Salt Scales/What's Wrong With a Little Destruction/I Don't Know You and I Don't Want To/We’ll Have Fantastic Passion Encore: I'm Tired of Telling You I'm Never Tired/Drink a Curse to the Death of Death/What Might Be is Now What Might Have Been/Oh, How I Burn for You
Yes, those aren't the song titles. But you know what I'm finally realizing? A lot of the Franz songs might be awful catchy and upbeat (beatwise), but the lyrics to almost all of their songs are wickedly sinister. They're like the Beach Boys of Villainy.
Afterwards I went to the "official after party" at the Tribeca Grand for a bit. (“A bit” can mean a couple hours, right?). The whole band was there, along with Eleanor Friedberger from High School, Karen O, Johnny Knoxville, Casey Spooner, various bloggers that I had to remind myself don’t count as celebrities, and lots of people that made me think: “Yeah, I’ve seen that person at other parties around the city, maybe they recognize me too?” The deejay was really good, first he played some non-cheesy disco-hits, then 80’s dance hits (like “I’ve Got the Power” and “Pump Up the Volume”), some latiny-stuff, and dance-punk from the 00’s. Perhaps he was taking us on a voyage through time?
Sons and Daughters were supposed to be playing a set, but I was done with the party before they came on.