"I want it to bludgeon. I want to pummel."
Future Islands' leading man, Samuel T. Herring, refers to the volume level, but he could be talking about his melodramatic expressions and gestures, his tragicomic narrative lyrics, or just his proclivity to sustain direct eye contact for intense amounts of time. Herring is riveting to watch and hear, method acting his way through well-crafted story-songs of the lovely and the lost. His gravelly growls and sweat-slicked stares are offset by the steady pokerfaces of his highly competent bandmates J. Gerrit Welmers and William Cashion, who seem to make a point of reserving all of their expressions for their emotion-wrought riffs.
The soaring synth lines and driving bass progressions start the kids moving, and the chest-beating, kick-spasming, heart-rending show Herring delivers puts all those who stay stationary to shame. You're only allowed to remain stoically stonefaced at a Future Islands gig if you're playing in the band. By the time FI are through with their high score set, Dan Deacon has a crowd perfectly primed for the next level of in-your-face antics, dance fever, and general lunacy.
Live photos by: Ashley Gordon