FRANZ FERDINAND, the Delays and the FUTUREHEADS at the Docks, October 1. Tickets: $25. Attendance: 3,000. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
With the NHL strike on, it feels like hockey jocks have lots of extra time to go see rock shows. Just before Franz Ferdinand took the stage at the Docks last Friday, three towering men in three-quarter-length leather jackets and baseball caps shoved their way to the front of the stage.
Granted, the Docks is basically a hockey rink anyway, albeit one with a great sound system, and when Franz hit the stage and kicked into Cheating On You, it felt like playoff time.
Given the excitement in the audience, it's hard to believe these guys were rookie nobodies only nine months ago.
In uniforms of sharp shirts and tight slacks, Team Franz have perfected the same kind of sexy, urbane, international-man-of-mystery look that Pulp and Suede rocked to the top of the Britpop heap a decade ago. Every time MVP Alex Kapranos shook his right index finger, cocked his head or wobbled his skinny hips, the crowd swooned.
Even the hockey guys could relate. "I love this guy," said one of the dudes before lighting a doob and passing it to his buddy. Try doing that at the ACC.
FF assistant captain Nick McCarthy was also in the zone, multi-tasking on guitar and keys, taking the mic for the stomping Tell Her Tonight and doing his spastic, one-arm-in-the-air new wave dances.
The band scored with every track off their winning debut album, and by the time Take Me Out's protracted retardando dropped, there wasn't an idle body in the house. The hockey boys were bouncing up and down, sweating like it was third period.
That's not to say there weren't any hiccups. Dressed in a Thriller-style red leather jacket, drummer Paul Thomson seemed to lose the beat a few times, and during 40 Feet the Docks' famed Dynacord Alpha PA system went totally dead for a few seconds. Then a fight broke out in the sardine-can pit and there were no refs around to step in.
Luckily, we still got overtime. With a couple of guys from show openers the Delays and the Futureheads on percussion, Franz finished the game with This Fire and a standing ovation.