Franz Ferdinand Plays Stage AE; Army of Optimism Invades Club Cafe (Sat., 5/27/17)

1) Named after the archduke whose assassination sparked World War I, Franz Ferdinand is a Scottish quartet, whose sound resembles Talking Heads and Let’s Dance-era David Bowie. Franz Ferdinand’s 2004 self-titled debut album was the paragon of a new wave throwback, right up there with The Killers’ Hot Fuss, where the guitars and bass bounced like rubber tightropes and the hi-hat sizzled like bacon grease. 2005’s You Could Have It So Much Better continued the party. Four years later, 2009’s Tonight: Franz Ferdinand got hips moving again, this time with synths in the mix. 2013’s Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action is the group’s latest album. Franz Ferdinand has been friends with American band Sparks for years. They have sent demos to each other since 2004 and became a supergroup, FFS, in 2014, releasing a self-titled album that year. Just Franz Ferdinand at Stage AE this month, but still expect sparks. Doors open 7 p.m. 400 North Shore Dr., North Shore. (CM)

2) It’s hard to open for a legend, but that’s what Army of Optimism successfully did in April when they opened for The Doors’ guitarist Robby Krieger. The crowd was very receptive to their brand of trip-rock with original songs that sound like they could have been influenced by Jefferson Airplane, Pink Floyd, The Doors, and Neil Young with a little alt rock thrown into the mix. The group was formed last year by two friends who had been playing together for years—Brian Stanny (drums, vocals) and Larry Dawgiello (bass and vocals). They invited several friends to join and now they are a force to be reckoned with. 7 p.m. Club Cafe, 56-58 S. 12th St., South Side.

3) Our battlin’ Bucs take on the New York Mets tonight in a 7:05 p.m. game. It’s also Free Shirt Saturday, with the first 20,000 fans receiving a Pirates T-shirt. It’s also a Scratch’n Win Saturday and there’s a pre-game Block Party on Federal Street. Fans can swing by the Leinenkugel Bar and meet Pirates legend Mike LaValliere. PNC Park, 115 Federal St., North Shore.