Thursday, April 10, 2014

Future Islands at The Catalyst – A Concert Review

     Bottom line concert review – If they do this each night of their tour, our hats are off to Future Islands! When the enjoyment of a concert performance depends upon the energy level of one person to the degree that Future Islands depends upon vocalist Samuel T. Herring, there is an expectation that the energy will exist when you have the opportunity to see a live performance. If the energy level is down, then the performance “failed.” But last night, while watching Future Islands, some reality set in – can anyone be expected to do this every night of a tour???
     The question on the drive to The Catalyst in Santa Cruz was not whether Future Islands would put together an enjoyable performance. The question was whether Herring would bring the David Letterman manic behavior during the song “Seasons (Waiting on You).” That video is embedded below. Well, he was less manic, but the song was not less enjoyable.
     The Catalyst is a venue with a higher than typical stage (a little less than six feet?). And it is a venue that includes a “moot” between the stage and the first line of crushed concert goers. However, somehow, Herring connected with the audience, both physically with his regular reaches to the extended arms of the fans and musically with his often emotional enactment of the band’s songs, such as when Herring enacted a “pulling back the face mask” at the end of “Tin Man.”
    After last night's show, the issue for today was supposed to be whether to go to the Fillmore tonight (to see Haim) or to The Warfield (to see To Kill a King open for Bastille). But the Future Islands’ performance made the decision more difficult, since Future Islands will be at The Chapel tonight. Three good options!
    One more comment - The security at The Catalyst is unsurpassed. It is clear that they are in charge of the situations that they must control. But they are helpful and have the proper perspective of their role. The best example: during the encore, two people jumped the moat onto the stage. The first merely danced next to Herring. This first intruder was quickly ushered off stage, but was allowed to rejoin the crowd. The second insisted upon putting his arm around Herring and put up some resistance to removal. He was ushered to the door, as he should have been.
     “Seasons (Waiting on You)”

     “A Dream of You and Me"


Below is the setlist, but with a disclaimer. The first ten songs are certainly in the right order. After that we are fuzzy, which includes the encore of four songs.
1. Back In the Tall Grass
2. Sun In The Morning
3. Balance
4. Before the Bridge
5. A Dream of You and Me
6. Tin Man
7. Doves
8. A Song for Our Grandfathers
9. Light House
10. Seasons (Waiting On You)
11. Inch of Dust
12. Spirit
13. Walking Through That Door
14. Long Flight
15. Fall from Grace
16. Vireo's Eye
17. Little Dreamer

1 comment:

  1. I've seen Future Islands three times in the last 6 months, and Sam's performances have only gotten more volcanic. He leaves everything on the floor every time.