Ten years ago, when J and I were living in Melbourne, I got my hands on a CD by a Scottish band that happened to be on tour in town. I immediately fell in love with the album, but sadly missed out on the chance to see that band live. As the years went by, that album - along with subsequent ones - have been on high rotation in our home and for road trips. This band is Franz Ferdinand, and they make music that is the perfect blend of pop, new-wave and rock, and guaranteed to get me dancing.
A couple of months ago, J heard that Franz Ferdinand would be doing a gig in Seattle, so on a whim, he booked tickets and I booked a babysitter. To be honest, I was a little blasé about the date circled on our calendar. I thought it'd be a nice enough night out, and knew the music would be great, but I had little expectations. I hadn't listened to Franz Ferdinand for a while, and wasn't particularly hyped.
Ever since that night in April, I've been meaning to write a post here about the awesomeness of seeing Franz Ferdinand, but every time I start thinking about it, I simply don't have the words. My mind? Was blown.
Everything about the night's performance was so tight, so perfect, so spot-on, that I knew halfway into the first song that I was experiencing the best live gig I'd ever been to... and not to brag, but I've seen some pretty amazing live performances over the years. I have nothing but superlatives for Franz Ferdinand. When I need to go to a happy place now, all I have to do is close my eyes, recall one of their songs, and I'm back in that darkened venue. Catchy guitar riffs, beats that groove down to your tippy toes and bounce into your heart, and a captivated crowd (at one point during a split-second pause in one of the songs, a guy yelled out "I LOVE YOU, MAN!", and without missing a beat, Alex Kapranos pointed back to him "And I love YOU!" with perfect showmanship and utter sincerity... maybe you had to be there).
And that's all I can write here about the joy of Franz Ferdinand live, because no words of mine will do justice. If you get the chance to see them perform? Just do it.
We finished the show with a couple of drinks in a dive bar across the road from the venue. It turns out that bars with floors that are covered in peanut shells don't exist solely in American movies and TV shows. We were given a fresh bowl of peanuts and I was more than a little perplexed with where to dispose of the shells, until J pointed out the floor. Um, ok then. It felt wrong, and I realised I might be a little too old for those places now. Anyhow, I chalked it up to one more 'uniquely' American experience to add to my notched belt.
As if that night out wasn't enough to keep me happy, we celebrated our wedding anniversary one week later. May Day also happened to be the warmest day in Seattle so far this year, so it was with happiness that we waved goodbye to the girls and their babysitter, I tottered into the car - dresses and heels are not my thing except for the rarest occasions - and we made our way to a waterside restaurant on the southern end of Lake Union. I had sterling company (of course), views of a busy waterway that everybody appeared to making the most of, and I devoured salmon, salmon, and more salmon.
If I haven't mentioned it before, I love salmon and will eat it in any and all of the ways it can be eaten. Sushi, poké, smoked, grilled... I'll eat it all. So, if you love salmon as much as I do, and find yourself in Seattle one day, with a need for water views and city skylines, then I suggest Ivar's Salmon House. I'm already trying to think of an excuse for us all to have brunch there this summer. My parents will be visiting, so I think that's a good enough reason, right?