At the end of a day filled with speculation that
Yet if Phoenix's guest of honor was an outlier Saturday, the band's overall dependence on groove (which Kelly certainly bolstered) felt like part of an established pattern. Earlier in the evening the wry English group
Beyond its left-field duet with Kelly, Phoenix -- which broke out in the U.S. with 2009's "Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix" and will release an anticipated follow-up next week -- layered fuzzy guitars over crisp beats in new songs such as "Entertainment" and "The Real Thing," the latter of which openly echoed Prince's "Little Red Corvette." And it went deeply spacey in a long rendition of "Love Like a Sunset," pushing its meticulously crafted pop-rock to trippy extremes.
Franz Ferdinand avoided any such appearance of self-indulgence: Its well-attended performance was a study in precision, with the band's sharply dressed frontman Alex Kapranos offering pithy thoughts on sex and romance over pointed riffs that got straight to the point.
"It's been a wee while," he said near the beginning of the band's set, acknowledging the four-year gap since the band's last record. (A new one is reportedly due this year.) Franz Ferdinand has aged surprisingly well, though: When it slid into the half-time slow-down that defines its 2004 hit "Take Me Out," the tempo shift felt like the rock-band equivalent of the so-called "drop" in dubstep. And it appended a bit of the late
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