Enmore Theatre, Sydney
Tuesday December 5, 2017 :
Baltimore’s finest synth pop export – Future Islands have been taking Australia by storm in the last couple of years. Samuel Herring & Co released The Far Field – their 5th studio album this year and rolled into a string of Aussie shows paired with a few festival appearences. Their Sydney show was in such high demand, it got upgraded to a much larger venue, even though it was happening on a Tuesday night. It didn’t seem like many people showed up upon first inspection of the venue half an hour before the highly anticipated main act was about to start, but within 20 minutes Enmore Theatre’s dance floor was packed!
Bathed in pink and blue neon lights, Sam T. Herring took front of stage, backed by Gerrit Welmers, William Cashion and Mitch Lowry towards the back on raisers. Kicking off (literally) with ‘In The Fall’, Herring’s voice sounded exceptionally captivating as he kept his gaze on the audience. I always kind of felt that Herring was Morrissey-like when on stage, obviously way better performer, more decent human being and a hundred times better dancer, but his presence does make a few fans run the same comparison. He makes you want to follow him with your eyes, afraid to miss any of his moves!
‘Beauty on the Road’ was well received, when Herring leant over the edge of the stage to flash a smile to photographers and adoring fans alike, he seemed to be looking into every face, studying front row’s most enthusiastic fans. Keyboard player Gerri Welmers, seemed preoccupied and unimpressed which seemed like it was normal. Peter Hook-like bass lines and stone cold face were William Cashion’s business card – probably at every show.
‘Ran’ was a sight! Every sharp bass line in that particular song, Herring would stretch his mic lead and throw himself running from one end of the stage to another. Looking a bit like Wolverine, serenading thousands of people that were gathered in Sydney tonight. Again, his dance moves were absolutely captivating – those fist punches, hip shakes, all of that with a face of a super nice guy. I think everyone who’s ever been fortunate enough to attend a Future Islands show would want Herring in their life forever.
‘A Dream of You and Me’, ‘Balance’ and ‘Long Flight’ were all well received and sounded mesmerising. Announcing ‘A Song for Our Grandfathers’, Herring looked absolutely drenched in sweat and out of breath, he gives 100% at the shows and audience loves him for that!
A fan favourite ‘Seasons (Waiting On You)’ got the whole venue singing along and cheering thirstily for more. Which was not surprising – back in 2014 when the band performed at the Late Show with Dave Letterman – the video of the performance became the most viewed on the show’s youtube.
The set list was fairly solid, considering the band had a new album to promote, you can tell they put some thought into it as the show wrapped up with ‘Back in Tall Grass’, ‘Beach Foam’, ‘Vireo’s Eye’ and finally ‘Little Dreamer’. Future Islands are the new Killers, but obviously kind-eyed Wolverine fronted instead.
Future Islands have been named the best live band around by multiple publications and seeing them for only the second time I can vouch that you will not only be entertained for the duration of the whole show, you’d want more and you’d come home and watch that famous youtube video and you’d buy their new album, if you haven’t yet!
Reviewer + Photographer : Annette Geneva