Future Islands live: A post-Meredith shot of adrenaline

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Rochelle Flack

Samuel T. Herring contains a lot of energy. A force of nature, he lets it out across the span of Future Islands’ second night at The Croxton, both gliding and storming across the panorama of the stage. It’s theatre, it’s dance – it’s rock music. For a moment, he squats and alternates kicking his legs out from underneath in the Ukrainian Hopak tradition. It’s impressive. Also impressive: Future Islands are a loud rock band, despite the absence of electric guitar.
Conversely, opening act RVG do have loud, shimmering electric guitars. As with Future Islands, they’re fresh from an appearance at Meredith Music Festival. The crowd at The Croxton are appreciative, if a little stoic due to it being a Tuesday. Or maybe the crowd were also fresh from Meredith. As Romy Vager seers with ‘That’s All’, the temptation is there to raise a boot to the ceiling. It’s RVG’s last show for a couple of months, we’re told, capping off a banner year and the release of debut album A Quality Of Mercy.
The best time I saw Future Islands was during the 2015 Laneway afterparty at The Hi-Fi. It did feel like a party, and Future Islands stormed the house down. Really tore it apart. While the mellower setting tonight precluded scenes from achieving those loose heights, Future Islands still packed a punch, bringing their latest album The Far Field to Melbourne for the first time. ‘Ran’ was a slinky triumph, elevating proceedings with a gentle take-off. 2010 cut ‘Tin Man’ was a shining jewel placed later on in the setlist.
A huge moment for a huge song, ‘Seasons (Waiting On You)’ is undeniable. Each thud Herring places on his chest, you feel it too. The track, like Herring, is potent with energy.
Highlight: Those Hopak kicks were pretty sweet.Lowlight:The timid setting of Tuesday night.
Crowd Favourite: Mistaking other synth lines for ‘Seasons’.