Reviews

Franz Ferdinand + The Evaporators @ The Commodore Ballroom – December 9th 2008

Alex Kapranos of Franz Ferdinand at The Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver, BC on December 9th 2008

Franz Ferdinand - 12/09/2008 - Commodore Ballroom -1

With the Commodore full of both New Wavers and kilt wearing alt-rockers, this was definitely a divided audience. Some had come for the opener, The Evaporators, which is headed by Nardwuar, the crazy field reporter from Much Music. The other had come for the headliner, the Glasgow based rock group Franz Ferdinand. Already the clash in attendees made for an odd site and created a fun atmosphere.

The doors were at 8:00 pm but the opener did not take the stage until 9:30 pm, which made many impatient. Once those lights dropped down and The Evaporators took the stage, in their patriotic Canadian attire, the crowd was mesmerized. Nardwuar was wearing a rubber superhero outfit, dawning the Canadian maple leaf, which completely covered his body and head and all but his face. The stylings of this band, are summed up in a cross between 80s punk and 90s comedy folk. The band is more known about its antics than its music, such as the lead singer placing a motorcycle helmet on his head and surfing the crowd on some sort of foam board. Near the end of their 40-minute set, Nardwuar made his way into the crowd and removed his rubber body suit. This revealed his sweaty, hairy body, although revolting, it still brought smiles to the faces of most. He then got right in the middle of the audience and had them all kneel down, and the music got soft, and then when the time was right they all jumped in the air and the music picked up again. This went on 3-4 more times, and made for an amusing site, but like I said this band is about antics and not music, and if I had to listen to the monotonous tone of any of their songs for any longer, I would have started to scream.

Finally, after they left the stage, the crowd grew restless again, very quickly. The majority of people poured out on to the floor to get a good spot for the headliner. Then finally at 10:45 the band took the stage, and the crowd lost it. The sound quality was immaculate and the lighting was perfect. This band puts on a great show, with good crowd interaction and CD-like sound quality. Many times bands are so remastered that their live performances are nowhere near their album sound, but this band was amazing. Every song had intensely emotional vocals, sexy guitar riffs and exciting drumming. I was thoroughly impressed with them and would recommend this as a band to see.

The set had all their hits and included a lot of staple songs people love to hear live. The lighting was great, they used those Commodore lights to create the perfect atmosphere. There was either a sea of bright whites coating the audience and backlighting the band creating an omnipotent look to them. Or there was little to no light, making the song the only spectacle and bringing the perfect level of ambience and musical grace. They did, however, play a really short set, ending at 11:45, which was a relief and a shame at the same time. On one side it was a Tuesday and most would be glad to leave before midnight, on the other hand the performance was immaculate, and no one really wants to see that end.

All in all this was an amazing show, but due to the length I couldn’t say it was a great bang for the buck. It would have be nice to see the opener start at 8:30 and the headliner start at 10:00 by the latest. Again I recommend this band to everyone, as they do put on an amazing show and have a lot of big star power for a smaller band. These guys could easily be headlining arena shows within the next few years, and seeing them in smaller venues is always a good way to learn about a band before they hit the big leagues. The Commodore is a never changing place of perfection, it is hard not to have a good time here. I would give this 6.5 out of 10 devil horns, but the reduced rating is based more on the length of the show and the impatience it bestowed on the crowd.

Happy Concerting

Franz Ferdinand photos © Jamie Taylor

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