Future Islands at Barrowlands, 9/9/15

I have a confession to make… I fell in love with Future Islands in much the same way a majority of their audience did, THAT Letterman performance.

I have another confession to make… I liked the album but dismissed them.


Don’t judge me, I am admitting to being a cynical man.


If it’s one thing you can’t have when you see Future Islands live, it’s cynicism.

After witnessing last tonight’s efforts by the band, I am in no doubt that they are the REAL DEAL*.

Within two songs, I was a changed man, my cynical outlook has been lifted and I am in danger of being swept away on a wave of euphoria. (*first and last time I use that phrase, I promise!)

Playing songs from their combined back catalogue, it’s a massive compliment that I insist the standard of spectacle never dropped below “jaw dropping”.

Every single person that bares witness to this concert will no doubt confirm that I am not exaggerating.

The songs are beautiful live, the music sounds exquisite and the energy of Samuel Herring is a force to be reckoned with.

Never have I seen a crowd lust after someone as much, that during ‘Doves’, a seductive twerk left everyone loses the feeling in their jaw.

‘Balance’ and ‘Heart Grows Cold’ are beautifully performed, in fact everything was; yes they played THAT song, but it was sandwiched between so many other highlights that it didn’t feel that way.

You know the way? The way a crowd wait expectantly on a hit, the joy here is that every song is a hit.

‘A Song For Our Grandfathers’ is as slow as it got, but it feels intimate; beautiful.

We are here to embrace a band laying it out there on the line, no gimmicks, no faux “The Barras is the best venue in the world,” these guys put it out there for you to accept.

In a world of ever increasing cynicism in the music industry, it’s beautiful to see a band play a venue and PLAY IT! I have lost count of the times I feel that I have been to the Barras and think the artist doesn’t pay it the respect it deserves.

Everyone in here knows it’s the best venue in the world, Glaswegians are maniacs at heart, we talk fast with passion in our eyes and hearts; fill us up with alcohol and put us in the Barras and you Sir/Madame will have an experience.

You need to meet us halfway though, Future Islands chapped our door and asked us if we would like accompanied to the halfway point!

Quick note, the songs from Singles were utterly brilliant, but based on the evidence of the new track ‘The Chase’ these folks are far more than a Letterman performance – I apologise to those of you that knew that before me, you are wiser/better than me.

This is a confession more than a review, I know that but hopefully you pay heed to my words.

Go to a Future Islands concert with an open heart and you will not be disappointed; if you go with cynicism, you’ll feel what I am currently feeling, a deep sense of regret and yearning for more.

I bet the crowd there would pay double tonight to feel that atmosphere again.

Future Islands are the real deal; yes I broke my promise but it’s for a good reason.

More Photos

Words: Andrew Melrose
Photos: Ang Canavan


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