F.F.S., the relatively new supergroup comprised of indie legends Franz Ferdinand and Sparks, ended their tour last Thursday with a performance at the Fox Theater in Oakland. The two bands initially met and discussed doing an album together eleven years ago. However, the idea was not put into action until two years ago when Franz Ferdinand’s lead vocalist Alex Kapranos had a happenstance run in with Sparks brothers, Ron and Russell Mael, on a random street in San Francisco. As fate would have it, the bands clicked on every level, musically and socially, and began working on what would be an exciting and very well-formed album. They then embarked on a world and national tour, playing music from their recently released self-titled album, which is what brought them to The Fox.
Three nights ago fans had the chance to witness this super group’s new album play out in a live setting. The dynamic duo of Alex and Russell led the vocals and also contributed well-coordinated dance moves that made it seem like they had been performing together for years. The similar styles and eccentric vibes of both bands allowed them to come together as a powerful, cohesive group. Watching them work together in perfect harmony one wonders why it took them eleven years to decide to join forces.
While nearly all of the songs came from the F.F.S. album, the band threw in some oldies, including the classic “Take Me Out,” that really got the crowd moving. A highlight of the night occurred when the stoic, straight faced Sparks pianist, Ron Mael, unexpectedly made his way center stage, loosened his tie and broke out dancing. Afterwards he promptly returned to his piano as if nothing happened. This was only one of the many moment that proved the super group are more than just musicians, they are performers in their own right. From their outfits to their theatrical dance movements and actions, F.F.S. gave a great performance.
The night came to a close and the forty one day tour came to an emotional end. Alex Kapranos declared that, “there is only one band on this stage tonight and that band’s name is F.F.S.!” Following a sentimental embrace between band mates, the night was ended with the song “Collaborations Don’t Work.” These members clearly proved this song wrong with the success of their album and tour, and with the powerhouse performance that we in the audience on Thursday bore witness to.
Article and photos by Erica Munson