Saturday, June 19, 2004


  • concert review: Franz Ferdinand w/ Sons and Daughters, controller.controller @ Kool Haus (Toronto, Ontario), Monday June 14, 2004

    In the midst of all the shows that I've been going to over the last week or so, mostly lesser known acts[Sarah Harmer excepted] but worthy of your spending money, was the 'next big thing', Franz Ferdinand show at the Kool Haus. This was originally suppose to have been at the Phoenix Concert Theatre which is a little more intimate, but obviously could not accommodate the demand for tickets. So the show was moved to the Kool Haus, which is just a monstrosity of bad sound, crappy sightlines and overpriced beer. And to top it all off this was an all-ages show. I was their age once, but now that I'm not, I hate all-ages shows. I'm sure they'll feel just like me when they reach legal age.

    guitarist for controller.controller @ Kool Haus, 14/June/04: photo by Mike LigonMy buddy and I were fortunate to be fairly close to the stage for the entire concert. I actually was able to lean against the stage, albeit to the far left of it, for controller.controller's set. The venue was still filling up at this point, and there was a general lack of enthusiasm for the band. Maybe the venue was just too big, or else there was a general lack of familiarity of the band's music amongst the younger crowd. I still think the band's death-disco, post punk grooves come off best in a smaller venue but of course, I'd like to see the band move on to bigger and better things. Controller.controller played songs off their EP but they played several new songs which I'm sure I hadn't heard before. It kinda sucks that I was at the very left side of the stage because I couldn't see half of the band, due to the dark lighting. However, the band seemed to be having fun and as their set progressed, the enthusiasm of the crowd grew, if partly due to my whoops of excitement, I would like to think. Nothing will beat controller.controller's set at the Comfort Zone just a few nights before, so take the opportunity to catch this awesome band live in a small venue while you can. The band's in New York right now playing several shows but will be returning to Canada shortly thereafter. Good luck to the band in the Big Apple.

    female vocalist of Sons and Daughters @ Kool Haus, 14/June/04: photo by Mike LigonBy the start of the next act, the crowd was slowly filling in in anticipation of Franz Ferdinand's set. My friend and I had a great view of the stage near the front towards the left side. Sons and Daughters were up next, and by their accents, I could tell they were Scottish. The band consisted of two guys and two gals. One of the gals who played guitar and keyboards, alternated lead vocals with one of the guys who played guitar. The other gal played bass(as well as electric mandolin!) and the remaining member was on drums. They are a fairly young band from what I could tell, but rather than amateurism and or unoriginality that might have been expected, they had a surprisingly refreshing sound. Their sound lies between rebel, outlaw country, post-punk influences, and ,at least to my ears, The Fall. The drumming was amazingly tight and provided a solid backbeat for the simple-but-effective guitar, keyboard, mandolin and bass arrangements. Their music wasn't necessarily dance-y like controller.controller but it was definitely foot-stompin' music. Great set from a previously unknown band to me. [I purchased their CD "Love The Cup" at the show, which is on Ba Da Bing Records, but I haven't given it a listen yet.]...Oh, the male vocalist, reminded me of Corin Nemec from that show in the early 90's "Parker Lewis Can't Lose". At least from where I was standing. :-)

    guitarist for Franz Ferdinand @ Kool Haus, 14/June/04: photo by Mike LigonThe excitement was building for Franz Ferdinand. The band had previously played a smaller venue in Toronto months before, but for all intense purposes, this show at the Kool Haus felt like their debut. And maybe, in a way it was. With all the hype and airplay the band's been getting in the press and local alt-rock radio stations, there were alot more people in the know about the band now than when they first came to Toronto. It was like The Beatles coming to America. Ok, maybe not, but you get my drift. So when Franz Ferdinand took the stage, the crowd went wild! The drummer in his v-neck, sailor inspired sweater, the rest of the band looking dapper, the band had a look of dapper young art students, the artier version to say Interpol's fashionista sense of style. Actually, the guitarist reminded me alot of Jarvis Cocker. The band proceeded to play songs off their self-titled CD, each song drawing an enthusiastic response from the crowd. I just have to make special note to how thick and lovely the bass playing arrangements were. The guitarist/keyboardist was a lively performer. But back to the songs. You know all the songs: "Take Me Out", "Tell Her Tonight", "Michael"...their music's a little glam, new-wave, pop, punk, and it was all "Superfantastisch" . Yes, they saved "Darts of Pleasure" for the encore, and when the song ended with the band singing in German "Ich heisse Superfantastisch! Ich trinke Schampus und Lachsfisch! Ich heisse Su-per-fan-tas-tisch!" that was one of the most monumentous concert moments[say that 3 times fast] ever!

    ps. And to top off the evening, there was some cool merchandise and schwag available when we exited, myself purchasing, the Sons and Daughters CD as well as a controller.controller pin and picking up some free controller.controller and Franz Ferdinand stickers. I also bought a Franz Ferdinand key chain from some guy outside, which I had no doubt was not 'official' merchandise, but when seen in better light I realized how shoddy the Franz Ferdinand logo was...the print quality was terrible and it wasn't even glossy. Buyer beware when purchasing merchandise outside of the venue. ...Also like to mention that I didn't bring my digital camera because I read on the Kool Haus website that only disposable cameras were allowed, so I brought a (crappy) disposable camera. Unfortunately, about half the pictures came out underexposed, and the only ones worthy of scanning and posting were the ones above. [Here are the pics above and some others if you like to take a gaze.]Next time I'm just sneaking in my digital camera, like everybody else.

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