I went to the second weekend of Coachella a few weekends ago and a few people who knew I went asked me what the best performance I saw over the three days of heat, dirt and the constant reminder that I am no longer young. While it was amazing to see Outkast again, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band were stellar, and I finally got to see Superchunk again after twenty years (again, I am old), the highlight was still seeing Future Islands.
The synth-pop group with death-metal touches (I am not joking) hit it big all of a sudden off their performance on Letterman a few months ago and surely some people were there to see lead singer Samuel T. Herring's interesting and enthusiastic dance moves, but what really stands out for me is the utter sincerity of their music and the way they perform. Between miming ripping an invisible mask of his head and pointing directly at members of the audience and asking if they believe in love, Herring was smiling, appreciative of the opportunity to play such a big stage and demonstrating that the band's occasionally new-ageish/motivational tape lyrics weren't a put on. These guys really believe in what they're doing.
I have no idea how long tickets will last for the band's show at 191 Toole when they go on sale Friday, but I'll be hitting refresh on my laptop starting at 11:55 a.m. The show, which will almost certainly sell out or get moved to a larger venue, is scheduled for August 25. Tickets are $18.