Future Islands Live at Iveagh Gardens

We went along to see Future Islands Live At The Iveagh Gardens. Here's how we got on.

Walking along Harcourt Street you’d be forgiven in thinking that it was just any other day, but walk up the road and you’ll come across a side street with a traffic blockade and a Ticketmaster van parked up. Pass the van and security and you’ll suddenly find yourself in a very different part of Dublin City Centre.

Through the trees, you’ll spy a stage, where for the next few weeks a number of really great artists will be found. On this night, it was Future Islands. An American synth pop band, comprising of Gerrit Welmers, William Cashion and lead vocalist Samuel T. Herring. But first up on stage was Sacred Paws.

Sacred Paws is made up of Rachel Aggs and Eilidh Rodgers, with other musicians joining them on stage throughout their set. Their musical style has been described as infectious, polyrhythmic tropical punk. There first album, Strike a Match was released in January of this year and they have been opening for Future Islands on their latest tour.

Lead singer and guitarist Rachel Aggs entertained the crowd with some dance moves during their set. Thanking the crowd for coming in early, so they had some people to play for. It was noticeable that a lot of people had arrived early and were enjoying the warm summer evening chilling on the grass and listening to some cool music. Sacred Paws have a great sound and for an opening act did well to get the crowd dancing along. According to Aggs the Iveagh Gardens stage was the biggest the band had ever played, and she was clearly excited to be there. She even commented on how amazing the venue is and how right she was, because Iveagh Gardens is not just a venue, it’s an experience.

With the crowd thoroughly warmed up, Future Islands took the stage around 8.45pm. Strangely enough, they didn’t come on and start straight into the music, as would usually be expected. Instead front man Samuel T. Herring came out and thanked Aiken promotions for having them and told the audience they were really happy to be back in Ireland. Apparently, they’d been here for 4 days already and really enjoyed getting to see more of the country side. The audience of course loved that and once they had their first song played Herring came back and exclaimed ‘oh this is going to be fun’. From there the set was filled with the great Future Islands synthpop sound.

Herring is clearly an entertainer at heart and very dedicated to his art. His performance was filled with some rocking dance moves, dramatic poses, gestures and even changing his vocal style in parts. This was live performance at its best. By the end of the set Herrings shirt had soaked through with sweat, so you can only imagine the shapes he was pulling on stage. The crowd was buzzing by the end of the night and they were clearly satisfied from a great set chocked full of great Future Islands hits including Dreams, Ran and Seasons.

When they left the stage the crowd made their way from the secret garden that is Iveagh Gardens and spilled back onto the streets of Dublin, back to join reality.

If you can make it to an Iveagh Gardens gig, we would highly recommend it. It’s not just a live show it’s an experience. Check out who else is playing here.

Photos: Brian Dooley