I don't really care that much for Future Islands, I mean by that I am not a huge "hardcore everlasting fan", one or two songs I play on my phone and that's it, because they are easy to like, with a tune that sticks, "catchy" as you'd hate to admit. They stay there, as a ghost, haunting me when I walk the streets of London, playing the lead role in the movie, but the song is not the reason it holds on, it's the man with the voice inside.
Samuel T. Herring is the thing that I really look up for, his Live performances with the band. That's a knock out, a sucker punch I received, with the stinging pain that settles in, long after the fight.
He's a boxer, giving it all, smashing the stage in order to transcend the song he plays. I have an utmost admiration and I stay hypnotised by some of his acts on stage. There is a level of emotion I never reached before, watching a live music show, even in reality, and I only saw him on youtube yet. It still resonates way stronger than all the things I witnessed in the real world, outside.
It’s hard to express the passion it awakes, like a spark of fire reaching deep. Each time I hear Tin Man or Ran in my earphones, walking in Fuckin'L, I see the Tin Man on stage, this thing screaming his heart out, torn, removing the mask at the end, the sweat, the distortion in the voice. A beautiful monster he is then, this creature holds my hand every time and I never let go.
Just watch this whole performance below and feel the heat:
I have never, in the last years, seen something as strong on a live performance as what Samuel T. Herring delivers. The stronger the lyrics, the deeper the transformation.
His physique makes it more of a treasure, he’s not the fittest, he’s not the best looking guy, but he has a presence, a charisma that makes him the greatest when I see him perform, move and live. It’s like a demonic possession, this body, random, a bit chubby, acting and dancing on stage, exorcism of the story he's telling, expressing the words with his being and more.
I mean just check these lives, the level of sweat and energy he puts in these are really exceptional, just compare this to the clean acts we see on stage all the time.
It all started in 2014 on Letterman where, on their first national TV appearance, Sam's moves brought a lot of attention to the band and since then continued to improve his act.
On the same level, I laughed at Albert Hammond Jr. Live on Conan recently for the absence of it all.
Mac DeMarco, who's forever in our hearts, finishes his Live naked or with his pants only on but he’s always relaxed, cigarette in the mouth, beer in the hand and I love him for that because he looks like my friend just went on stage for a karaoke session and I have a smile on the whole time, but still, I don't feel as much as I feel Samuel. The reason might be the lyrics, being french, I need an act, a presence to enhance the story.
Sam Herring would crush Mac's beer in his hands and swallow it whole if it ever finds itself there. He just throws himself on stage, in the song, and just for that I am in owe. The acting is fantastic and it’s even more interesting to realize he’s a rapper, his real passion being hip hop and rap.
But in his performances with Future Islands Live he creates this vessel for the songs that I simply adore. Moving strangely, almost inventing his own, as a Ian Curtis once did and is still remembered not only for the songwriting but also for the trance he'd get into.
Samuel T. Herring is a Live Performance, he acts, moves, dances, sings and we are the audience of something raw and authentic happening, a scene of emotions, feeling it all.
Watch these videos and then listen to the songs. His face, his moves will haunt you for the following days and never leave you alone with the music. You’ll always have the beast dancing around in your head as Tin Man or Ran plays. A beautiful beast.