Future Islands in Santa Barbara and on KCRW

Nov 19th, 2011 in Music

We caught Baltimore’s Future Islands’ early set at Muddy Waters on Wednesday (the later set being sold out), and came away from the enjoyable set still unsure of the long-term merit of the band.  They are critically acclaimed and filled the Muddy with swelling synth and bass sounds.  We’ll delve deeper into their discography and report back our findings in the future.  The three-piece played a well-received set that was marked by the flip-of-the-switch theatrics of lead singer, Sam Herring (pictured above), and seriously-stoic, but accomplished, delivery by his two band mates (Gerrit Welmers and William Cashion) on keyboards, bass and guitar.  One minute Herring is the boy-next-door chatting amiably with the crowd, and the next he’s Jack Black channeling death-growl metal and flailing around the stage.  After the set Herring reverted to his (we suspect) likable self (as pictured above).  More Jeykll, less Hyde, kind of thing.

To get a feel for the Kona conundrum, check out their performance of Before the Bridge on KCRW below. Herring seriously scaled back the method-acting for KCRW, but you still get a feel for the Jack Black Leads Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark effect.  Let us know what you think.  For now, we’re giving them the benefit of the doubt.

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