Friday, September 5, 2014

So Future Islands Are Very...Interesting in Concert

I was listening to Spotify over the past few weeks as I want to do every single day of the week when I am work. There's been a really good song I've heard and even took the time to download. It was called Seasons (Waiting On You) by a band called Future Islands. It's very synth-heavy and definitely has a sort of melancholy mood about it. Anyway, I have enjoyed the song and now own it. Here it is. Ignore the weird country video that doesn't seem to match the song too well. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but it grew on me after a while and I really like the song. Long story short, I listened to the rest of their "Singles" album (the album the song is off of) and wasn't quite as impressed. It's not bad and it's the type of music that could grow on me if given the chance. I did stumble on their bio on Spotify and it mentioned they had a performance on "The Late Show with David Letterman" that left him impressed and speechless. I like bands that are good live, so I checked out the video. The live version is very interesting. Now before you watch the video, please listen to the studio version above and then listen to the live version with the vocals. You'll know what I'm talking about when you hear the live version compared to the studio version.

So first off, the dancing. It's not bad. It's not entirely distracting. It's just dancing. It's one of those dances that someone would do in private, but just politely say, "I don't dance" if there ever was a time it had to be used in public. It goes from "Dances your dad does" to "Wow, he has some rhythm" to "These are some sincere vocals" to "That's an easy way to tear an ACL" to "He can't be entirely serious." Again, it's not bad, but I ran the gamut of emotions watching it.

At 1:48 he pounds on his chest so hard you can hear it through the mic. Holy crap, he's serious.

At 2:43 he gives the "Eddie Vedder intense stare into space" look that makes me worry somebody in the front row might get either kissed or murdered. Possibly both. But not neither. Then more chest-beating.

So the vocals, they aren't bad and you can tell he is really singing and does not care if you know he misses notes. In an era where no musician wants to miss a note live, it's refreshing.

But then...3:08 the Cookie Monster voice comes out. Holy shit. That's Cookie Monster or some weird gothic-metal voice. I can't explain it. I thought the studio vocals were fine, but apparently the producer worked hard to talk the lead singer (his name is Sam) out of using that voice, but when the producer is away the voice comes out. I don't know if I don't like it more than I am wondering why he changed the vocals around.

So of course being the inquisitive person I wanted to know if this was a "Late Show" thing or something Sam, the lead singer, does during most live performances. It turns out he does this voice during live performances. As seen in this entire concert video below.

There's more chest-pounding and Cookie Monster vocals. I will check out more of this band's music, simply because I'm really interested now. Maybe that's the point. Either way, wow, I didn't expect much of this live performance to work this way. Still, Seasons (Waiting for You) is a good song.