The Franchize with Dark House Sweet 

The Franchize with Dark House Sweet
Jan. 18 at The Vogue

What makes a band – any performer, really – stand out goes beyond talent, creativity or technical skill; it is rooted solely in the sheer, burning desire to entertain, to PERFORM and not just play. That desire takes a lot of forms – Sinatra had it, Britney had it in spades, Madonna never lost it – and on the local level, the gang from The Franchize certainly have it. On Friday night, The Vogue could barely contain their high-energy musical tsunami.

The Franchize has been called one of Indy’s finest bands, with numerous NUVO Best of Indy awards to their credit. Friday was the first night I had ever seen them, and I can’t disagree. How to describe them? Their sound is a distinctive mix of funk, turntabling, heavy metal, classic party rock and hip-hop, and they make it all work. They didn’t slow down for a second, even as they drove past the two-hour mark: It was strong from their opening bit – a heavily funkified version of the modern-day asian-rock classic “Battle Without Honor or Humanity” (a.k.a. “that song from the Kill Bill trailers”) – to the close. Best of Indy, all right, and they play like they’re trying to earn it all over again, every night.

Classic rockers Dark House Sweet opened the night: their originals felt like the mellow Metallica of “One” days (back when Metallica still mattered), and their covers ranged from Steve Miller to Lita Ford. Anyone who doesn’t dig a band that slides effortlessly from “Kiss Me Deadly” to the Knight Rider theme has no joy in his or her soul.

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Paul F. P. Pogue

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