Future Islands, unquestionably, put on one of the most upbeat and fun live shows of any other band touring at the moment. On Oct. 9, 2017, their current tour brought them to the Orpheum Theatre in Boston, MA, a venue that is old, beautiful and rich in musical history. Lead by frontman Samuel T. Herring on vocals, the band is also comprised of Gerrit Welmers on keyboard/synthesizer and William Cashion on bass. When touring, Michael Lowry joins as the drummer.
The band relies heavily on synthesizers, and in terms of genres, fuse synthpop, alternative and rock for a distinct sound. Best known for their widely popular single “Seasons (Waiting On You),” the band has toured virtually non-stop since first forming in 2006.
The spirit this band has is undeniable. Since they first formed, the trio has consistently released great music and played every show with high energy. At the center of it all is Herring. Watching Herring flaunt around the stage, belting out lyrics with passion is a sight to be seen. He has a special way of connecting with the audience and making them feel like they are really a part of the whole experience.
One cannot talk about Future Islands without bringing up Herring’s dancing. Using every square inch of the stage, Herring feverously twirled, thrusted and trotted the evening away. Herring even used the microphone itself as a prop, tangling himself in it and dragging it around the stage with him. At times, it almost felt like if he wasn’t holding on to it he would have floated away.
As Herring, sometimes erratically, ran around the stage and pounded on his chest, Welmers and Cashion were consistently fantastic on their instruments. It was incredible to see the synth and bass players be so instinctively in-sync. Because of Herring’s commanding stage presence, it can be difficult to focus on the other members of the band, but they definitely deserve the attention.
While they didn’t stop in Rhode Island during this tour, Future Islands has come here many times in the past. The band played small shows at places like Building 16 and Narwhal Arms before working up to gigs at Fête Music Hall and AS220, and this past April they headlined at The Strand, formerly known as Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel.
The evening’s 20-song setlist was comprised of tracks spanning their eleven year’s worth of music. The band released their latest album, “The Far Field,” this past April. The 12-track, 45 minute-long record weaves themes of love, loss, loneliness, heartbreak, faith and defeat, and even has a song featuring Debbie Harry of Blondie. Herring has stated that it’s important for him to write about things he cares about, otherwise he doesn’t see the point.
The whole night was nothing but fun. In between songs, Herring took the time to make jokes, describe the meanings behind their songs and plead with the audience to spread love and compassion in wake of the Las Vegas concert shooting.
The audience was very diverse in terms of age, which is perhaps a testament to the wide appeal of their songs, and Herring seemed to really ignite a passion in them. It only took a few notes of the first song before everyone was on their feet and dancing enthusiastically. By the time the band played “Seasons (Waiting On You),” they already had the crowd completely wrapped around their finger and engrossed their performance. Come the end of the night, both Herring and the audience were covered in sweat from hours of dancing.
The audience was absolutely buzzing as they filed out of the venue and into the streets of downtown Boston. This was a show the attendees won’t soon forget. If one thing is for sure, it’s that if Future Islands is ever playing a show near you, it’s not one you’ll want to miss.
Recommended songs: “North Star,” “Vireo’s Eye,” “Little Dreamer,” “Ancient Water,” & “Aladdin.”
For more, visit: www.future-islands.com