Governor’s Ball 2017 was over. Sadly, the euphoric rush of experiencing a live festival with a killer lineup had ended. But then there were the Governor’s Ball After Dark shows — a small yet diverse lineup of artists of all genres playing late-night shows before, during and after the epic weekend on Randall’s Island. One of these performances happened to feature Franz Ferdinand, playing at Warsaw in Greenpoint.
The show was on a Monday, which meant that the crowd would either be completely burnt out from the festival or they would be insanely stoked that they could keep the celebration of seeing live music going. They were insanely stoked. The show was sold out. And after the two opening bands (Omni and Wanna) had played their sets, one could barely squeeze any further inside the building. Warsaw is a boxy, flat, no-frills kind of venue, but its DIY auditorium feel is what makes it such a classic Brooklyn venue. However, it can be difficult to see the stage for attendees settled a little further back, and it’s pretty tough to move around so it can be easy to get locked in at a single location. So if one’s can of Zywiec — the venue’s staple beer — is already too warm, well, then that’s too bad. But all of this was trivial; for when a band like Franz Ferdinand takes the stage to perform for a packed venue of people who, along with thousands and thousands of other damp festival goers, had probably seen them play the day before, listeners quickly forgot about everything except for the music that was about to start.
The show started with “Jacqueline,” the track off the band’s self-titled debut album from 2004. It was a prime choice to kick off the show, as the song starts easy, taking its time and making listeners wait, wait, wait for it, before exploding forty-five seconds in with the band’s quintessential frenzy of seriously catchy guitars and drums. Yet, that sense of anticipation was a familiar feeling for this crowd, as Franz Ferdinand have been quite silent these past few years. But, as their setlist continued, the band bopping through their lengthy discography, it was a fierce reminder of how much their music had been missed — from their moments of cool and dry steadiness to their poppy bursts of energetic Scottish-rock. But that’s what Franz Ferdinand’s music is all about: mixing organized, sophisticated moments with ransacked hooks.
Of course it was Franz Ferdinand’s massive hits that got the crowd really revved up (songs like “No You Girls,” “Do You Want To” and “Take Me Out”). However, regardless of the song, Alex Kapranos was capable of engaging the audience. His glam rock jumps and leaps seemed destined for social media, and the way he kept singing “New York!” and “Warsaw!” to the crowd in between songs, served as a means to get a quick fix from their returned excitement, or perhaps as a humble reminder that, yes, the band was here, in New York, at Warsaw; it was pretty damn cool.
It was the encore, though, that really made the show. It finally felt like a dance party. Franz Ferdinand’s seductive devotion to their hand clapping, beat-infused, sing-along-and-then-burst style afforded them the “comeback” for which they had been waiting. Now the show had a vibe that was reminiscent of Governor’s Ball — full of static energy mixed with an illuminating nostalgia that was completely overcoming. And for this kind of peak to happen at such a mid-sized venue such as Warsaw, that’s a pretty major accomplishment.
The show concluded with “This Fire,” from the band’s debut record,a song that incited the audience to give all the juice they had left after the long weekend and energetically sing along, “This fire is out of control. I’m going to burn this city, burn this city…” And that’s where the show ended, in a feverish high, right before Franz Ferdinand took a proper bow on stage and everyone left Warsaw, sweating and spent, with the lyrics of so many songs still pulsing inside their heads.
No You Girls
The Dark of the Matinée
Do You Want To
Stand on the Horizon
Huck & Jim
Take Me Out
Darts of Pleasure