Future Islands @ South Side Ballroom, Dallas, TX

Words and photos by Scott Rowe
Over the years, I have been impressed by bands either by their stage presence, their ability to exceed their studio sound, or they are simply a sight to behold. If you didn't know, Future Islands falls into all three of these categories. The quartet from North Carolina is led by their balls-to-the-wall frontman, Sam Herring, who is the Energizer Bunny of leg kicks, air punches, and sultry dancing. While the band has not put out a new release since 2020's As Long As You Are, their month-long tour was more than welcomed, as they are as I said previously, a sight and listen to behold.

Their last headlining stop in DFW was back in 2017 when they were touring off their release, The Far Field, and their last performance in DFW was only a couple of years ago (2021) when they supported Modest Mouse at the Pavilion at the Toyota Music Factory. Like a fine wine, their stage show has only gotten better, despite not having an over-the-top production, which consists mainly of a fabric backdrop, a few shaped panels, and some backlighting. But even without all the hi-tech gadgets and stage-sized LED panels you would expect at the South Side Ballroom, you would be hard-pressed to find anyone who did not have the time of their life during their performance.

The band opened their set with "For Sure", the second track from 2020's As Long As You Are, and set the tone for the night, showcasing Herring's onstage persona and the band's ability to outshine their studio sound. For as much as I, and many others, like to focus on Herring, the trifecta of Welmers, Cashion, and Lowry make some incredibly smooth, fun music that simply makes you want to dance the night away. But it's hard to ignore Herring, as he is simply a beast onstage, roaming back and forth like a caged animal, growling at points, and raging from time to time. But their percussive, synth-driven sound is such a delight to listen to, while Herring provides the eye candy for the thousands in attendance. The 90-minute affair included many of the band's hits, including "Seasons (Waiting on You)", "Ran", "A Dream of You and Me", and one of my all-time favorites, "Long Flight". While I wish they were touring off a new album with new music, I was more than happy to soak up an hour and a half of one of the more entertaining bands in the game. 

Photos of the show are below:

Future Islands @ South Side Ballroom, Dallas, TX Future Islands @ South Side Ballroom, Dallas, TX Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on May 12, 2023 Rating: 5
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