Show Review: Future Islands @ Mohawk (4.23)

Upload Future Islands 20140423222153In a week filled with shows, it was perhaps one of the more anticipated sets of the week, especially with Future Islands seemingly springing to larger popularity via their performance on some late night talk show.  I was a little bummed that people didn’t quite make it out early enough to catch the openers, Knifight, but perhaps that will help keep them our little secret for just a bit longer.  

Thanks to Bryan at PPI for sharing some photos with us.

If you haven’t caught Knifight and you’re a fan of darker electronic music, then I ask you, what are you waiting for?  Their last LP, Dark Voices, was one of our favorites in 2013, and their live shows have always been rather impressive.  On this night, they stepped it up even more, bringing one of their most forceful performances to date.  Personally, I love the fact that the band employs a full on band…you know, drums, guitars, etc.  Their dark wave pop is much stronger when its more than just the twiddling of knobs.  They were perhaps my highlight of the night.

I felt bad for Ed Schrader’s Music Beat.  A family emergency led to a line-up change, which may have altered a little bit of the band’s live set.  That being said, it was executed as best as one could expect, though a band that features a floor tom and a bass are really going to have to bring it in order to win folks over. For my two cents, I was actually rather impressed with the ballads that band offered, giving a bit of diversity to their standard fare of proto-punk.

Then came the tour de force that is Samuel Herring.  I say Samuel Herring as there’s no doubt that he’s the entire force behind the band, whether or not that has to do with the construction of the music or not.  Future Islands will live and die with his performances that Herring offers.  You can bet that either the control of his unique voice or his crouching shimmy will be on point every night, but if not, the band could be in trouble.  At times, there was no one else on the stage, seemingly.  But, perhaps the band has offered up Samuel as their sacrificial lamb, and as they blasted through many of the hits from mostly On the Water and Singles, it was clear that he didn’t mind.  He’s one of the most charismatic performers I’ve seen in some time, and I reckon that’s enough to keep Future Islands atop the touring world, continuously winning over their fans as they did this past Wednesday.

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