Sunday 9 September 2018

On Stage: Franz Ferdinand @ Woodstock'69

Haarlem's music venue Patronaat is working together with beach bar Woodstock69 to host concerts there. The beach bar is used to having DJs playing, as do many beach clubs there in Bloemendaal. But now they are also hosting band performances occasionally. This time Scottish band Franz Ferdinand are playing on the beach and that sounds like a good time to see them again.

Franz Ferdinand @ Woodstock69 Bloemendaal, September 5 2018

The last couple of days were quite rainy and it's clear summer has come to an end. Tonight we're lucky though and maybe it's not a warm summer's night at least it looks like it will stay dry. Franz Ferdinand's Alex Kapranos is a big fan of post punk band Rats On Rafts from Rotterdam and brings them out as support act whenever he can. So the band is opening for them tonight and it's always good to see them. It's been a while since I've seen them and apparently they had a few line-up changes. But their music hasn't changed fortunately although some of the backup vocals aren't always in tune. At the end Kapranos himself joins the band for one song on guitar.

Later on he's on himself with Franz Ferdinand, the band that I still like a lot, although their best years are behind them. I like their new LP Always Descending which has a few songs that are quite good but can't match up to their best work. However Franz Ferdinand live is guaranteed to be a good time and tonight the setting seems perfect for a party. Indeed this is what happens when they start playing and the eager crowd starts dancing.

The band is playing with a lot of heart and Kapranos is his usual charming self, laughing and making contact with the people at the front. We find ourselves somewhere at the edge of the people at the front who are dancing wildly, and form a kind of jolly pit. But when they bring out their best songs, there's no holding back and we have to jump and dance like the rest. This band is still able to fire up a crowd and make them dance to their irresistible catchy songs.

Sometimes Kapranos will leave his guitar alone, grab the mic and starts crooning around the stage. Then the band will pick things up again and the crowd immediately goes wild. This band is at its best when it can get close to their fans and feel their energy. In the encore they poke up the fire a little more and let it rip completely in the closing song 'This Fire' where everyone sings "this fire is out of control" which couldn't be more true. What a great night at the beach!

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01. Lazy Boy
02. Glimpse of Love
03. Michael
04. Do You Want To
05. Walk Away
06. Come On Home
07. The Dark of the Matinée
08. Lois Lane
09. Finally
10. Outsiders
11. Take Me Out
12. Ulysses
13. Slow Don’t Kill Me Slow
14. Always Ascending
15. Love Illumination
16. This Fire

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