LAST NIGHT: Franz Ferdinand Rocks an Intimate Show at the Echoplex

A enthusiastic crowd roared their approval at the low-key but high energy set at the Echoplex


“In the name of Satan, Kate Middleton, and methamphetamine, put your hands together for… Franz Ferdinand!”

Last night at 9:40 p.m., a cheeky Scottish fellow walked onto the stage of the Echoplex and set the mood for the evening with those dramatic—and surprisingly well-received—words. After 90 minutes of restless waiting and chatter, people were ready. And they were amply rewarded for their patience. 

The four members of Franz Ferdinand stepped into glowing red pools of light, flashed a few smiles at the now-screaming crowd, and jumped straight into their brand new single “Right Action.” The track from their upcoming album Right Thoughts Right Words Right Action displays the unmistakable, punchy guitar paired with hooky vocals that is unique to the Scottish post-punk quartet.

“Right Action” wasn’t the only new track from Right Thoughts, which comes out August 27 on Domino Records. The audience got a taste of “Evil Eye,” a catchy pop-rock ditty anchored by an eminently singable chorus.

If you caught Franz Ferdinand at Coachella in April, you wouldn’t have been disappointed by last night’s show. The band matched the energy of their bristling set in Indio—and the audience followed suit. When lead singer Alex Kapranos belted out the lyrics to the crowd-pleaser “Matinee,” the audience belted them back and pogo-danced along with Kapranos to the beat of the drums.

The low-key but high energy set at the small Echo Park venue was something that only a handful of lucky fans got to see. To score tickets (courtesy of FYF Fest) you had to wait in line to pre-order the upcoming Franz Ferdinand album at one of two local record stores (Fingerprints in Long Beach or Origami Records in Echo Park) last Friday at noon or try being one of the first to RSVP to the show last Friday afternoon. It took more than a few hours spent sitting on a concrete sidewalk to secure our spot (we were one of the lucky 300), but the reward was worth the effort.

It was incredible feeling the relentless, adrenaline-inducing vibrations that Franz Ferdinand sent through the 700-capacity venue, especially when they played another new track, “Treason! Animals”; rhythm guitarist and keyboardist Nick McCarthy crowd surfed atop howling fans while continuing to hack away at his pearl white Gibson SG. This is a band known for playing much larger festivals and venues, but last night it was almost as if there was too much music for the tiny Echoplex to handle. Throughout the entire show a deafening roar came through the amplifiers and between songs it was a constant backdrop of hoots, hollers, and screams from the ecstatic audience.

McCarthy’s impressive stint at crowd-surfing didn’t even top the list as the most crowd-pleasing moment. When Kapranos effortlessly glided across the stage while picking away to the song that launched Franz Ferdinand into the music world, “Take Me Out,” every person watching couldn’t help but dance along, screaming the lyrics to perhaps the band’s most popular song. 

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