Scottish rock band Franz Ferdinand thoroughly entertained a near full audience at the Fox Theater Monday night, delivering an energetic show with plenty of dancing.
Staying true to form, the four band members never stopped moving, similar to their chaotic Outside Lands 2012 performance. Alex Kapranos still runs the show, providing bombastic lead vocals and guitar, supported by Bob Hardy on bass guitar. Back-up vocals comes from both Nick McCarthy on rhythm guitar and keyboard as well as Paul Thomson, on drums and other percussion.
A diverse crowd descended on Oakland to support the Glasgow rockers, who emerged in the mid-2000s as part of a post-punk revival with similarly styled UK groups such as Kaiser Chiefs and the Arctic Monkeys. Franz Ferdinand is still a rocking force to be reckoned with, playing with speed and volume in tandem with spectacular additions and subtractions of guitar, drums and keyboard like a chemist. They have thoughtfully developed a sublime formula for rocking out.
Franz won the Mercury Music Prize in 2004 for their self-titled debut record and have released four studio albums in total. On Monday, they covered classics like “This Fire” and “Michael” complemented by newer tracks, such as “Fresh Strawberries” and “Ulysses,” and the obvious crowd favorite, 2004 breakout single “Take Me Out”. With the latter, the crowd emphatically bounced so hard the floor shook and shouted along during the final chorus when Kapranos gave everyone a chance to shout the lyrics.
Kapranos exudes confidence and his band-mates keep a demeanor of enjoyment. Women screamed after he took off his black and white cowboy jacket. He frequently gave shout outs to the Bay Area, complimented an audience member’s clothing and followed the traditional performers’ script with simple commentary to engage the audience. At this point, it is more than evident that Franz Ferdinand is fully groomed. Their dance rock sound was an agreeable Monday pick-me-up.