by Graeme Wiggins
VANCOUVER – Future Islands entered the stage to the cover of Black Sabbath’s “Changes” by Charles Bradley who had just recently passed away. It was a nice tribute to the soul legend, and also fitting in some ways as Future Islands’ singer Samuel Herring shares the same devotion to showmanship that Bradley was known for. If you wanted idiosyncratic but high energy dance moves, intense vocal performances, and honest, joyous between song banter this was a show for you.
The band’s set focused on the band’s latest two albums, Singles, and The Far Field, with a few older songs thrown for good measure. To be honest, a lot of the songs sort of blended together. Overheard from an audience member in response to a friend’s excitement about hearing Single stand-out “Seasons (Waiting on You)”: “I think they played it already didn’t they?” In most cases this might all seem critical of the set, but it worked for them. The set wasn’t so much about the songs as the performance. The consistency in beat and sound allowed the performance of Herring to really stand out. His trademark growl showed up in exciting places, his punctuating of emotional moments with a regular chest punch made the rhythm feel like it was coming from his heartbeat. As mentioned earlier he also demonstrated some really out there dance moves. It was equal parts joyful, cathartic, and impressive.Future Islands, The Vogue Theatre