words & photos by Anna Scialli
Radical Dads, who share two members of Uninhabitable Mansions and one member of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, took the stage first in front of a sizable crowd despite the early set. While their songs are catchy, Radical Dads' live show was lacking in energy. It's understandably hard to play to a room of people anxiously awaiting Islands and Radical Dads failed to leave an impression. Especially when followed by Das Racist, a bizarre and confusing sight to take in.
Internet darlings Das Racist introduced themselves with some middle school-esque "potty humor" and incoherent rambling as they launched into a set full of rap songs about pop culture, white people, and well, I have no idea what else. Das Racist has attracted attention to themselves with their amusing and oddly catchy song "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell", and by the crowd's bewildered reactions, it seemed that some people were unfamiliar with the rap-comedy trio. I was intrigued to see Das Racist perform, and their lyrics and commentary were certainly amusing but it didn't sustain itself. Their schtick got old; Das Racist is beating the irony dead horse to a bloody pulp. And they didn't even play "Combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell".... how ironic. Maybe I just don't get it... or maybe there's nothing to get. To their credit, it was a different act opening for a band like Islands and the crowd was entertained.
Finally, after all that waiting, it was time for Islands. Nick Diamonds, known for his grand entrances (remember Siren 2008?), sauntered onto the stage in a flashy, rhinestone-covered cape. Yes, a cape. If anyone could pull it off, it's Nick Diamonds. Islands roared through their set, playing almost all new songs from Vapours, with the exception of four old songs off Return to the Sea and Arm's Way. The crowd was energetically dancing to the new songs, although the excitement was only really tangible when old favorites were played such as 'Creeper' and 'Don't Call Me Whitney, Bobby'. The songs from the new album were catchy but I couldn't help but wish we heard more crowd-pleasing favorites. Also, what happened to the violin? It was a great compliment to Islands' punchy-dancy songs and its absence was palpable.
Islands finished with a strong encore of 'Swans from Return to the Sea' and once they left the stage, people were still dancing and smiling. Despite playing mostly brand new songs, Islands were engaging, interesting, and a great live show. More pictures, and the setlist, below...
Islands set list:
No You Don't
Disarming the Car Bomb
Don't Call Me Whitney, Bobby