Live Gallery: Future Islands at the Sydney Opera House 19.02.2023

Future Islands

Baltimore’s Future Islands are in the House tonight. Outside, Sydney harbour is sparkling like an emerald and World Pride is in full swing. The city is awash with colour and it seems fitting that the band, made up of Gerrit Welmers (keyboards and programming), William Cashion (bass, acoustic and electric guitars), Samuel T. Herring (lyrics and vocals), and Michael Lowry (percussion) are appearing at the iconic Sydney Opera House, which turns 50 this year. This is Future Islands’ first tour of Australia since 2017.

The band pivots around charismatic singer, Herring, perhaps best known for his deranged dad dancing, chest thumps and vocal histrionics. Future Islands’ fortunes changed in 2014 when they appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman. Their unforgettable performance of breakthrough single ‘Seasons (Waiting on You)’, went viral and brought them legions of fans, with Pitchfork naming it one of the greatest songs of the decade. It catapulted them from relative obscurity to being a worldwide phenomenon.

The crowd in the Opera House is buzzing with anticipation as we wait for this beloved cult quartet to take the stage. Future Islands kick their set off with a cracking version of ‘For Sure’ – Herring’s charisma and the band’s focused ferocity combine to bring the crowd to its feet from the first song. Herring’s stage presence hypnotises, his bandmates behind him are impassive as he slides across the stage on his stomach, throws imaginary balls into the audience and does high kicks. “Don’t try that at home,” he tells us. Herring has a Swedish connection and when the band plays ‘King Of Sweden’ I realise that his moves remind me a bit of the ape character in Swedish director, Ruben Östlund’s movie, ‘The Square’. The crowd is a mix of young and old, but everyone is transfixed and it’s almost as if Herring’s wild dancing has given us all permission to bust out our worst dance moves as the Opera House becomes a fun and frenzied disco.

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1 Comment

  1. […] on You)’ on David Letterman’s late-night show, a moment that showcased Herring’s intense performance style and solidified the band’s place in the indie music […]

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