Wednesday, April 12, 2006
TUL's Take: Franz Ferdinand/Death Cab for Cutie @ Constitution Hall
Stayed for the Franzia, tried to ditch the Cab (but couldn't due to contractual obligations... yeah, that sounds like a much better term than, say, um, whipped). We missed the opening act due to the incredibly early start time, the necessity to eat dinner (I can't function without, at the very least, least three meals a day), and our general apathetic attitude towards The Cribs. I'm sure they put on a fine performance, but we just weren't particularly interested in seeing them. Once we found our seats (Orchestra section, 13th row, because that's how I roll), Franz Ferdinand took the stage around 8:30 and we were underway.
Have I mentioned how much I love these guys live? The last time I saw them was their first (and until last night, only) DC show at the 9:30 Club nearly two years ago, which, coincidentally, was my first show after I moved back to the Washington area. So naturally, I welcomed the band back with open arms. It's just too bad the cavernous sounds of DAR were trying to cock-block me the entire night. Franz sounded great, 'natch, but the acoustics in Constitution Hall just aren't well-suited for a band like them. Franz somehow managed to improve their already gifted stage presence, making their whole set that much more enjoyable. My only gripe with the group was their lack of material performed from their newest album, You Could Have It So Much Better. "Jacqueline", "The Dark of the Matinee", and "Take Me Out" all sounded superb, but I was aching for them to play "Well That Was Easy" and "I'm Your Villain", both of which sound like they would translate to a great live performance. Nonetheless, they injected a ton of energy into the room and are easily one of those very few bands I would see over and over again.
After the high Franz Ferdinand delivered to the crowd, Death Cab returned the DAR audience back to the ground out with a setlist that sounded near-identical to that of their 9:30 performance last year. Not that it was necessarily a bad thing, but a little variety, such as an effing song or two from something about airplanes, wouldn't have hurt. It definitely wouldn't surprise me if the majority of the crowd last night didn't even know that album existed. TUL really couldn't believe the amount of kids in attendance, almost as bad as the Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School fueled-Hot Hot Heat show last year. Speaking of Bethesda, what in the hell was Gibbard referring to when he dedicated one of their songs "to the kids in Bethesda last night?" If anyone has any info on that, please feel free to fill me in. Was there some sort of surprise appearance at OHOP or something? Anyway, DCFC once again played just one song from We Have the Facts and We're Voting Yes, and by that time I was already sitting (yes, sitting) due to being drained from the much more energetic, charismatic openers earlier that night. In a situation like this, I feel it's always best to have the closer be someone that ends the show with a rollicking note rather than a mellow fade-out a la the boys of Death Cab. Overall, despite the general suckiness of DAR, it was a great show that ended more on a downer than an upper. I guess it's kind of like pounding down a Red Bull only to find out later it was the Sugar-Free brand.