Future Islands helped keep the weekend going strong at Iron City in Birmingham, Alabama on September 10th. Even though the band performed in concert on a Sunday night, it was still a festive and party atmosphere for the fans in attendance. The concert and performance also helped people get their minds off the looming weather threat in the area. It was a great way for people to cut loose and escape for a little while, and they did so to the soudns of Samuel T. Herring's synth-pop accented vocals.
This was my first time seeing and listening to Future Islands, but I knew going in to expect, as mentioned in the previous paragraph, synth-pop and the vocal stylings of Herring. I didn't know exactly how the two would mesh together along with the performance style Herring executes as a front-man, but I was more than impressed when I finally got to experience things first hand. Herring was all over the stage and had an immediate connection with the audience. It was one of those performances where you could tell he was losing himself in it and wasn't going to let anyone or anything stop him. The audience, in turn, responded positively and enthusiastically as soon as Future Islands got into the heart of their performance, which featured old songs along with cuts from their latest album, "The Far Fields".
The lighting and production of the show also complimented Herring's performance style. The color scheme was heavy on blue, purple, and red, but Herring had a strong abundance of clear light on his face to properly convey his full emotional range to the audience. As a photographer, I also enjoyed it because it allowed for some really sharp images. I experimented with this show by using an 85mm f/1.8, a lens I've had for years but rarely use during concerts. I forgot how sharp it can get, and the fixed focal length was perfect for the dimensions of Iron City's stage. I'll definitely be using it more as a concert lens in the future.
I'll definitely be adding Future Islands to the listening rotation based on what I heard and saw from this show. Anyone who knows me knows I'm all about synth-pop and charismatic lead singers so this group is definitely right up my alley. They were definitely the right band to keep the spirit of the weekend alive in Birmingham for a little while longer.
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