Frontman Samuel Herring races on to the stage barely before the lights are even on and starts calling out to the crowd: “what the fuck’s happening Glasgow?”
He seems restless, but that is exactly what the crowd have come here to see and as they begin to cheer and wolf whistle, he continues with “we are glad to be back so soon”, before the rest of Baltimore synth-popsters Future Islands emerge.
Opening with the piercing synths of ‘Back In The Tall Grass’, Future Islands get the sold out ABC crowd warmed up on a chilly early November night.
The heavy bass of this track, which is from their latest album Singles, reverberates throughout the venue and begins to get the crowd bobbing their heads and moving from side to side.
As the smoke silently falls upon the crowd, the red and white lights on stage become more distant, Herring starts tossing himself around in front of his microphone and as the smoke clears, the crowd begin to cheer and almost beg for more.
‘Walking Through That Door’, from the band’s second album In The Evening Air, brings out the best in Herring as he sings and looks adoringly in to the crowd, the addictive beat and 80s synth comes to life when the vocals begin and the crowd sing-along.
The warmth of this band’s sound must be highlighted and there is a small sense of euphoria when Herring introduces Katrina Ford, from support act, Celebration, to the stage for ‘In The Fall’, the stage seems a lot fuller now and both singers seem to enjoy the thrill of the moment.
Finally ‘Seasons (Waiting On You)’ starts, as the lights pick up pace in time with Herring, the opening track to Singles is definitely a crowd pleaser and has everyone singing along, there is a sense that the gig is reaching a climax when Herring starts dancing again as the song breaks down, almost doing Elvis impersonations and swinging his hips around much to the crowd’s delight.
Keeping to the new album tracks, ‘Spirit’ sounds like a song that could appear on a fantasy computer game, but when Herring starts singing and his whimsical voice takes over.
Coming back on to stage for an encore after playing for nearly an hour and a half, Herring shouts “I got a couple cans of Buckfast for tonight,” where deafening screams could be heard all along Sauchiehall Street.
‘Beach Foam’ is a nice way to the end set, with a lovely mellow uplifting pace and a glow of electricity that fills the room as Herring changes his style, singing as passionately as we have seen him all night
Entering in to ‘Vireo’s Eye’, the song takes over with an injection of 80s synth pop that could easily have been a hit for New Order 30 years ago.
With impatient bass licks that energise the crowd for one last time, this has been a sold out show that has showed why so many people, have been singing the praises of Future Islands for some time.
Words: Chris Flockhart
Photos: Beth Chalmers