Posted in music | pictures on August 8, 2014

photos by Amanda Hatfield

"Future Islands was so good last night. Incredible energy and so much booty shaking. The man has soul." - Jett Wells

"Probably written more words on this band than any other over the years, but let's say it again: Future Islands are something special." - @cmgzine

"Omar Souleyman and his serious live clapping giving me everything" - Carrie Wilds

Future Islands
Omar Souleyman

Long-running, but more popular than ever, Baltimore's dancing synth-pop act Future Islands came to NYC last night (8/7) for a free show at the House of Vans. The bill was filled out by a trio of excellent pop-minded acts: Syrian pop singer Omar Souleyman, Dan Boeckner's (Wolf Parade, Divine Fits) new act Operators and local indie pop act Mas Ysa. Not surprisingly, the show was already near capacity by the time the first opener went on around 7pm. Those who RSVP'd but didn't get there early enough were being turned away all night.

Omar is a great opener for Future Islands because Omar doesn't do much. It's hard to tell if the deadpan thing is his shtick, if he's just phoning it in, or if he's just reacting to a crowd full of non-dancers. He walks around the stage in sunglasses, sometimes staring at the not-dancing crowd as he croons. His signature moves are moving his outreached arms up and down and clapping to get the crowd energized and moving. Backed only by a keyboard player and/or track, his music is booming, loud and sounds great. And It would be a great dance party if people danced, or maybe if Omar did.

Future Islands frontman Samuel T. Herring on the other hand is a dancing machine, a living meme, a sex machine. Smiling, chatting, crooning and dancing while backed by a very able and seasoned band. The crowd goes nuts and rightfully so (even with the muddy, poorly-mixed sound in the House of Vans warehouse that kind of ruined it for me, as I stood towards the back). The large, enthusiastic crowd, drunk on free Shiner beer, cheered before and after every song, and even more when Sam showed off his special moves, and even more when hit single "Seasons" came up in the Singles-heavy set list.

House of Vans is a spacious, corporate-funded, skate park and event venue in warehouse located in the heart of hip Greenpoint/Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Future Islands know the neighborhood well, or at least certain places in the neighborhood like the small, long-running DIY venue called Death By Audio that they've played many times, and that Sam gave a shoutout to from the stage (It was hard to understand but he said, but it was something about going there the night before because it's the only place he knows).

For Operators, it was their 2nd-ever NYC show. Their first was the BrooklynVegan Northside showcase. House of Vans ended up being the first show of a Future Islands and Operators tour together. They'll hit Millvale, PA tonight. Check out all the dates for that tour, as well as the rest of the pictures from last night's House of Vans show, an Instagram video featuring some of his moves, and a stream of Vince Clarke's new remix of "Doves", below...

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Mas Ysa

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Omar Souleyman

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Operators - 2014 Tour Dates
08-07 Brooklyn, NY - House of Vans *
08-08 Millvale, PA - Mr. Small's Theatre *
08-09 Indianapolis, IN - The Vogue *
08-10 Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall *
08-11 Sioux Falls, SD - Icon Lounge *
08-12 Fort Collins, CO - Aggie Theater *
08-13 Salt Lake City, UT - Kilby Court
08-15 Boise, ID - Egyptian Theatre *
08-18 Sacramento, CA - Harlow's *
08-19 Fresno, CA - Star Palace at Warnors Theatre *
08-20 Los Angeles, CA - The Fonda Theatre *
08-21 Los Angeles, CA - The Fonda Theatre *
08-22 San Diego, CA - Irenic *
08-24 Phoenix, AZ - The Crescent Ballroom
08-25 Tucson, AZ - 191 Toole *
08-27 Denver, CO - Gothic Theatre *
08-28 Omaha, NE - The Waiting Room *
08-29 Des Moines, IA - Wooly's *
08-30 Chicago, IL - Schubas !
08-31 Columbus, OH - The Big Bang *
09-02 Montreal, Quebec - La Tulipe *
09-03 South Burlington, VT - Higher Ground Ballroom *
09-04 Portland, ME - Port City Music Hall *
09-07 Toronto, Ontario - Horseshoe Tavern
09-13 Hamilton, Ontario - James Street North Supercrawl
10-23 Halifax, Nova Scotia - The Marquee Club
* with Future Islands
! with Tweens

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Comments (15)

So what time did the doors actually open? Because it said 7pm, but they started turning people away at 7:15, and the opener went on at 7?

Posted by Anonymous | August 8, 2014 2:22 PM

Doors opened maybe 15 minutes early?

Posted by Anonymous | August 8, 2014 2:32 PM

Did Gabe enjoy himself?

Posted by Anonymous | August 8, 2014 2:41 PM

How early did you have to get there to get in? I wasnt gonna bother trying.

Posted by Anonymous | August 8, 2014 3:02 PM

Nice to know that all the scarves were all in one place. How 'bout we try bombing the areas that it happens next time.

Posted by Anonymous | August 8, 2014 3:05 PM

not really fair to say the sound was muddy because you decided to stand in a shitty spot. thought the sound was great in there the whole night, if a little loud for the openers.

Posted by Anonymous | August 8, 2014 3:05 PM

People were lining up as early as 3pm... my friend got there at 6, and he couldn't get in. sucka!

Posted by ubettabelieveit | August 8, 2014 3:05 PM

Got there at 5:05 and couldn't get in. : (

Posted by Anonymous | August 8, 2014 3:06 PM

Above people are lying. We got there at 6:20 and got in just fine. I also thought the sound was good, but I was up close to the stage.

Posted by Anonymous | August 8, 2014 3:24 PM

this just tells me that most of the people inside are unemployed, or work in some sort of service industry hourly wage function

Posted by Anonymous | August 8, 2014 3:25 PM

I got there at 5:35 and there were about 30 people in line ahead of me. They started letting us in at 6:45ish. Not a very long beer line until after 7:30 or so.

Have no idea what happened behind us.

Makes for a long night, but leaving work a couple of hours early was worth it for this show.

Posted by Hbomb | August 8, 2014 3:30 PM

It was pretty much if you weren't in line by the time doors open you were gonna get turned away

Posted by Anonymous | August 8, 2014 3:36 PM

Who was the beardo that was front and center for the entire night? He was going crazy for Future Islands but gave zero shits about everything else. Dude even started messing around on his phone while people were performing. Fuck that guy.

Posted by Anonymous | August 8, 2014 4:33 PM

4:33 he was williamsburg

Posted by Anonymous | August 11, 2014 12:34 PM

Seriously, fuck that guy. LOSER.

Posted by Anonymous | August 13, 2014 5:37 PM

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