Arts concert review

Frankie Rose and Franz Ferdinand rock the Orpheum

A rousing night of indie rock and dance mashups

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Artist Frankie Rose, who just released her new album Herein Wild.
Courtesy of Fat Possum Records

Frankie Rose and Franz Ferdinand

Opened by Casual Sex

Orpheum Theater

Oct. 20, 2013

The Orpheum Theater in Boston is a beautiful old opera house in Boston that seems a little past its glory days, but it was perfect for the indie rock and dance mashups of Casual Sex, Frankie Rose, and Franz Ferdinand.

Casual Sex, a Glasgow based band, was the opener for the night. While they were clearly excited to be opening the show, their songs were a little cliché. It was hard to hear their lyrics over the sound of the bass, but most of the words seemed to be puns about one-night stands.

The crowd really started to filter in as Frankie Rose took the stage. She played some songs from her new album, including “Night Swim” and “Sorrow.” Unlike some of her recordings, Frankie has a much deeper voice in person. Her raspy, throaty renditions gave the sweet songs a sinister bite and more depth. She managed to fill the theater with her new wave renditions, and got the audience to cheer along with several of her songs. While her stage manner was a little off at times, she won me over with her beautiful voice and whimsical songs.

The live performance also gave Frankie the chance to speed up a couple of her slower songs, as well as try different echoes of her performance. The stage was a little too small for her to move around, but the constraints made the music seem more “real.” The mesmerizing display of light and color gave her ethereal, ominous songs a solid grounding.

Franz Ferdinand was the last band of the night, and they roused the crowd with their enthusiastic renditions of songs from several of their previous albums. Their live performance allowed lead singer Alex Kapranos to try different tempos for some of their hits. I was less familiar with the material from their new albums, but listening to their sweet rendition of “Stand on the Horizon” encouraged me to listen to their new songs as soon as I returned home.

Franz Ferdinand looked like they really enjoyed being out in front of the crowd. At various points, Kapranos and Nick McCarthy, the guitarist, reached out to the crowd, and Kapranos even held up a fan’s signs, encouraging us all to sing the lyrics to “Do You Want To.” The blinding lights from their performance made it difficult to watch at times, but the music certainly made up for the strange lighting.

Overall, I was thrilled to attend this concert. Frankie Rose and Franz Ferdinand were even more fun to listen to live than recorded. I’m definitely anticipating their return to Boston.