So this was my fourth time seeing islands live. It was definitely a very different vibe than any of the other Islands shows I have seen. First of all, instead of the white clothes, which the band usually wears, the band was dressed all in black and singer Nick Thorburn had his face painted like a mime. The only stage decorations that they had were what looked like little red trees and the entire back wall of the stage was black with twinkling stars. I guess the darkness of their clothing and stage was to reflect the darkness of their new album Arm’s Way. And the night was definitely a night to showcase their new album.
They opened with “The Arm” and “Pictures of You”, and played most of the other songs on the album, reverting to songs off of their previous album, Return to the Sea, only three times. Before they were about to play “Don’t Call Me Whitney, Bobby”, Nick said they were going to play a song off of the old album and told the audience not to cheer but to boo the song, saying “out with the old and in with the new”. The crowd couldn’t help but cheer and sing along to the old songs. When they played “Swans (Life After Death)” as the first encore, and then “Rough Gem” as the second encore, the crowd pretty much went nuts. They finished off the night with “To a Bond”. They really love their long songs. The crowd started to cheer about 5 times because they thought the song was over but it just kept going. It was a pretty good finish though I have to say.
I think it’s pretty safe to say that most of the people in attendance preferred the old songs to the new. Either that or they hadn’t had a change to listen to the new album.
Overall it was a pretty good show, but I miss the old islands. I miss the fun islands. Hopefully this darkness stuff is just a phase, and they will go back to the good stuff on the next album.
As a side note, the Chow brothers (not actually brothers) were awesome.
Didn’t have my camera this time so no pictures (sorry) but here is a video of Islands performing “The Arm” live, not in NYC, but it pretty much looked exactly like that, except that Nick now has short hair.
I bumped into Rufus Wainwright today! I saw him walking in the Meat Packing District, just outside of Pastis. I was a bit star struck, but i managed to get something out about how we are both from Montreal. He smiled and said nice and then told me to enjoy the beautiful weather. Second big celebrity spotting of the summer!