"Without enthusiasm you are doomed to a life of mediocrity, but with it you can accomplish miracles."
I went to see Future Islands perform at Mochvara last night.
It was a bittersweet experience, full-blooded, thigh-twitching affair. Magnificent.
I have watched them before, on their now cult performance at Kset in 2010. I remember writing to Zach afterwards, saying that people wept in the audience when Sam announced Tin Man. And I remember Mr. Herring's surprise and happiness with the reception by that audience. I remember how I was then just lukewarm fan, only getting to know their art, and how my being their fan grew from that tepid interest into rapturous devotion - and in the heart of that devotion, one thing stands true right from the beginning; you cannot improve on perfection.
That most perfect thing, one that caught my attention then and is also flawlessly present now is Mr. Herring's dramatic delivery of lyrics, just as one would present lines in a play. What makes this presentation especially engaging is the notion that it is propelled by enthusiasm and candor, rather then building a theatrical on-stage persona. Lines he delivers are his own, flowing from his life and his experiences, and them being enveloped in music only makes them more potent.
So, ...if this was such a great experience, why bitter-sweetness?
Well, I feel that venue was too small for number of tickets sold as it was truly, not only unpleasant, but disgustingly overcrowded. Mochvara has been my favorite venue for quite some time now, partly because of excellent, relaxed staff and also because of extraordinary jump in a quality of sound during live performances - both of which was clearly present yesterday - but the place was so packed it was sickening.
Other thing adding to bitter-sweetness is this unfortunate internet fame Mr. Herring has been in the center of recently. This is a thing that both upsets and angers me, because it once again shows the world populated by clueless buffoons. Short description of happening is that Future Islands were brought to center of "more mainstream" attention by being on now several shows that ended up featuring not really their music but even more so presenting Mr. Herring's performance as "unparallelled" by theatrics in the music business, which in turn ended up widening their audience. What angers me most is that I feel his dramatic performance is misunderstood since it is commented as histrionics, not giving him credit for what he really deserves; unparalleled enthusiasm and candor. Why this is important? Because it brought portion of the audience that wasn't there for the music and I feel that they were detrimental to the complete experience. Example of such crap is this silly bitch snapping a selfie right on the stage during an encore.
Even in this less than perfect conditions Future Islands performance was impeccable and it was both honor and pleasure being there to witness it.
I hope I will be seeing them again.