The band was adored by the crowd and mirrored that energy right back at them
On Sept. 2, at the ever-popular Metropolis Theatre, Baltimore’s own Future Islands returned to Montreal on their tour for their fourth full-length album, titled Singles. Regular Montreal music fixture, Dan Boeckner, opened the show with his new band, Operators– their debut EP, EP1, was recently released.
Playing Metropolis for the first time ever, lead vocalist for Future Islands, Sam Herring, announced, “We moved [venues] hoping to fill out the space.” The crowd in Metropolis clearly proved this was no problem and that the fan base had grown immensely since Future Islands’ first Montreal show six years before.
As they opened with their peppy “Back in the Tall Grass,” there was an immediate burst of energy and a liveliness emanating from the stage. Although stating he had been battling throat issues for the past several weeks, Herring sounded more powerful than ever; his growling vocals igniting the crowd. Known for his charismatic stage presence, he became more active and theatrical as the set went on. In one instant his hips were gyrating on stage and then he passionately pounded his chest with his fist like a king of the jungle. In the next song, he would change the pace and sink down to the ground. Rising from the floor, he slowly gazed upwards. While still singing, the musician appeared to have tears streaming down his face – but that could have been sweat – it was difficult to tell. Either way, Herring, along with his bandmates, consistently demonstrated pure passion for their music.
The set mixed both old and new tracks, including past favourites like “Before the Bridge” and “Tin Man” to the crowd’s delight. Then, from the more recent Singles came the hit “Seasons (Waiting on you)” which prompted a surprise cameo from Win Butler, lead singer of Arcade Fire. A few missed greats from Singles were “Doves” and “Like the Moon,” but overall the selected tracks melded together for an outstanding show.
Just before the last song of the set, Herring yelled, “This is it, baby! Let’s have some fucking fun!” He returned to the stage – after a quick shirt change – for a four song encore. Enticing the band to deliver an encore required much foot stomping and commotion from the crowd. The band played an audience requested oldie, “Beach Foam.” Described as the first song ever written by Future Islands back in 2006, before they even had a band name, “Beach Foam” brought back waves of nostalgia, particularly for those who were long time followers of the band. For the finale, Herring wished everyone sweet dreams, and they played the beautiful soft track “Little Dreamer” to wrap things up.
With the profuse gratitude and appreciation directed towards the Montreal fans from this fabulous band, it is only right to finish off by expressing the sincerest thank you to Future Islands.