Future Islands VICE Island, Toronto ON, June 19

Future Islands VICE Island, Toronto ON, June 19
Photo: Kevin Jones
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Between a biggie record deal, adored album and viral late-night television appearance, it's been a banner year for Future Islands, rightly earning them a marquee spot at NXNE 2014. But if you thought the Baltimore outfit were simply a product of the studio, they threw that idea straight out the window at the free booze-a-thon that was VICE Island.

Hitting the wooded stage with this year's Singles highlight "Back in the Tall Grass," the four-piece quickly made the long ferry trip to the island all worthwhile, with three straight months on the road turning Future Islands into a sight to be seen. Of course, the real appeal of the group onstage was vocally impressive frontman Samuel T. Herring, who broke out a bevy of cool-dad dancing, death metal vocal inflections and countless Instagrammable moments.

It also didn't hurt that Future Islands focused heavily on the drama-spiked and straight-up hooky electronic pop of Singles, like new favourites "Seasons (Waiting on You)" and "A Dream of You & Me," with the band filling the pollen-packed air with their OMD-tinted synth, tightly wound kit work and bass lines straight from the school of Peter Hook. It all worked wonderfully on record, and even more so onstage.

Without a doubt, this is Future Islands' moment, and they're owning it.

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