There were a million things happening throughout the Twin Cities on Saturday night. From almost all of the sports teams playing in town to a giant arena show in Saint Paul and virtually every other club filled with music, it was one of those nights where I wanted to be a million different places. Even though my body wanted to be everywhere, my heart knew where it belonged and that was at The Fillmore for a band that I hadn’t thought about in years.
Matthew Dear hit the stage right at 8 PM. I wasn’t expecting anything in particular from Matthew’s set mainly because I had never heard of him prior to him taking the stage, but what I got was definitely not what I thought I would get from an opener for this show. It was just Matthew and a table full of electronics and computers but the range of sounds and vibes he filled the room with from this small table was extraordinary. There were moments of pure peaceful bliss and other moments with a driving industrial-styled bass that had the room thumping. The lights were low. That mixed with the lack of a band or even a lot of movement on stage didn’t give the audience much to watch but that didn’t mean that everyone wasn’t enjoying the set. Matthew’s music is all of the ambiance and energy that you need so, other than a few moments where he interacted with the crowd between songs, that’s all we got and I was okay with it.
Be honest, when was the last time you thought of the band Franz Ferdinand? Personally, it has been years for me but I really have no reason for that. The band hit the scene in the early 2000s and quickly found fame with their quirky and retro-styled tracks. It was music that made you want to dance and had you smiling instantly. So what happened to this band you may ask? That’s what I was asking myself as the stage was turned over for their set on Saturday night. Ends up, they continued to make music after their 2005 album You Could Have It So Much Better which arguably put them on the map. Even though they have had a few line-up changes over the years, this band has continued to do what they do well and that’s make catchy music that has a distinct sound and attitude.
Earlier this year, the band released ‘Hits to the Head’ which is the album this current tour is in support of. It’s not a new album but rather a culmination of some of the greatest tracks from their previous five albums. Honestly, I only know their radio hits which meant nearly every song they played on Saturday was a new track to me but I was alone in that camp. Although the audience was light (probably due to just the sheer amount of other things happening throughout the cities), everyone was dancing and singing along to every song like it meant the world to them and I was there for it. Every song came with an infectious beat that was distinctively Franz Ferdinand. On top of that was the power that every song was performed with from the band.
I don’t recall ever seeing Franz Ferdinand before (although it is possible and I just completely forgot because, well, I’ve been doing the nightly concert thing well before I had this blog) and I was completely taken aback by the amount of power they have in a live setting. From synchronized jumps from the band to just the sheer vocal power of Alex Kapranos, there wasn’t a sleepy moment throughout their eighteen-song set or a moment that I could have done without. There was constantly something to see and something new and intriguing to hear which made the set seem to fly by. Before I knew it, Franz Ferdinand had played “This Fire” signaling the end of their set. I would be lying if I said I was bummed as I was ushered out onto the busy Minneapolis streets but was so thankful that, out of everything happening on Saturday night, I had chosen to spend my time with this timeless band.