Words and Photos by Andrew Parks
The slow but steady (and more importantly, well-deserved) rise of Future Islands was summed up nicely by singer Samuel Herring at the House of Vans last night. Addressing the crowd about halfway into their hour-long headlining set, the natural born So You Think You Can Dance? contestant reminded us all of the band’s days on the Todd P circuit. Namely all those barely legal nights at Silent Barn, which were a far cry from an evening spent wooing Letterman or, well, headlining the House of Vans, a cavernous space that filled up well before the second band (Dan Boeckner’s new synth-heavy project, Operators) was over.
Future Islands stalked that stage, however; quite the feat considering just how feathery and light the trio’s songs can be. Lucky for them, Gerrit Welmers’ gleaming synth lines stick immediately, with guitarist/bassist William Cashion batting cleanup and Herring seizing the crowd by the throat with showmanship and sincerity.
Speaking of showmanship, Omar Souleyman broke right through the language barrier of his Syrian techno songs by leading the crowd in what can only be described as one long clap-your-hands-say-yeah session. Ecstatic and wildly expressive, it was a fitting way to loosen one’s limbs right before Future Islands owned them…