Best of SXSW 2014: Future Islands
SXSW was ALL about Future Islands. Nothing else seemed to matter.
We got wind of the incredible Future Islands performance on Letterman just a few days before we left for Austin and we instantly became obsessed with it. Obsessed! We learned Future Islands were playing SEVEN times at SXSW… and it was on!!!
When I wasn’t seeing metal at SXSW I was scuttling around to catch Future Islands. And sometimes ditching perfectly good metal shows to do so. They are THAT great live! Specifically frontman Samuel T. Herring, whose rubber-legged moves are positively mesmerizing — dubbed the FIST (Future Islands Shuffle and Twist) — and whose occasional deep-throated death metal growls are a nice perk for us metalheads, but certainly not the main attraction. Most metal frontmen could learn a thing or five from Herring, who has the audience in the palm of his hand from note one. He gets it! How to perform, how to dance, how to entertain an audience… how to make every single person there feel like he’s seeing straight into their soul, singing directly to them and only them.
All in all I caught five Future Islands sets. I’m pretty sure we started the first ever (and possibly last?) full-on mosh pit to ever take place at a Future Islands show Thursday night at Cheer-Up Charlie’s. Beers were spilled, limbs were battered, noses were broken, phones and wallets were lost. Incredible times were had. The tame indie crowd that assembled to watch the band that night had no idea what they were getting into.
After the show we met the band and made them do metal poses with us. Those poor souls! Good sports tho.
Some fun with animated .gifs from around the Interwebs:
Here’s a video I shot myself the previous night at the KCRW showcase at Haven. Herring unleashes a SICK death growl to start things off, retorts with a beautifully sung “A dream of you and me!” (the contrast!), then busts into some sick dance moves:
Some video from the Cheer-Up Charlie’s show. We’re in there somewhere!
Other amazing SXSW videos: