Franz Ferdinand 9/15/2004
Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow UK
By Aaron MendelsohnOctober 21, 2004
For some, there’s just no place like home, and after a year touring the globe in support of their Mercury Prize winning debut, Franz Ferdinand couldn’t be happier to return to where it all began, playing the first of three sold out gigs at Glasgow’s historic Barrowland Ballroom this past Friday night. And in true rock fashion, Franz Ferdinand didn’t disappoint, running through fourteen songs in just under an hour, acknowledging their appreciation and admiration for the two thousand rabid, sweat soaked hometown fans along the way.
With the opening chords of “Michael,” Franz Ferdinand kicked off the evening as the crowd on the ballroom floor surged towards the stage, heaving half full cups of beer into the air, while others fought to stick up camera phones to grab a quick snapshot. And the crowd didn’t let up for a moment, jumping up and down and singing along to every note, putting huge smiles across the four band members’ faces, as they proceeded through almost all the songs from their self titled album.
Although the band rarely addressed the crowd throughout the night, instead allowing the music to do most of the talking, when they did, the response was worthy of another fab four. Lead vocalist and guitarist Alex Kapranos began “The Dark of the Matinee” with a smile and sigh, declaring, “Fuck, it’s nice to be home,” and later explained that “Jacqueline” is about a friend from Glasgow that the band knew. Before playing “Come on Home,” Kapranos again showed his appreciation, saying the band’s waited all tour to play this one, as the rest of the band ripped into a raucous rendition sung by the venue’s capacity crowd.
After ending the manic paced set with “Darts of Pleasure,” drummer Paul Thomson and bassist Bob Hardy returned to the stage for an extended drum and bass intro, before Kapranos and guitarist Nicolas McCarthy joined the pair onstage for a dark “Shopping for Blood.” The band finished their four song encore with an extended version of “This Fire,” compelling the crowd to continue singing the band’s newest anthem as they shuffled out the venue doors, knowing full well that next time their hometown heroes play Glasgow, it will no doubt be a much less intimate experience.