27 May 2008

Islands @ Webster Hall - 24 May 2008

Islands made their second appearance - and first as headliner - at Webster Hall this past Saturday evening and filled the cavernous space with an appropriately large-sounding set. From the muscular opening riff of the show (and album) opener "The Arm" onwards, they seemed intent on channeling the darker, muscular rhythms and arrangements that dominate Arm's Way while explicitly turning their noses at the lighter fare that comprised much of 2006's Return to the Sea.

Personally, I enjoyed the attention and detail paid to Arm's Way; it's an involved affair that really benefits from the added openness and urgency found in the live setting. "Vertigo", the album's 11 minute closer, absolutely devastated as the perfect set closer, revealing layers upon layers of intertwined strings and rhythms that the band expertly allowed to breathe and evolve into a composition that transcended the sum of its parts. It was amazing. Same goes for "J'aime Vous Voir Quitter" and "Pieces of You", though the subversive moment of the night would have to go to Nick Thorburn crooning "Kids Don't Know Shit" to a blissfully unaware all-ages crowd. And it was this crowd that seemed to want more Return To The Sea, cheering wildly every time the band would launch into one of its selections while Thorburn deadpanned and downplayed their earlier material, telling them they should be more excited for the new songs.

Old, new, it doesn't really matter when seeing Islands live, and while some youngsters bristled at consecutive 8+'s to end the set and begin the encore ("Vertigo" followed by "Swans"), such sequencing decisions are just the tip of the eccentric iceberg when it comes to seeing Thorburn live (here I'm thinking back to a Unicorns show when they stopped "I Was Born A Unicorn" halfway through to close the set before finishing it during the encore). Better to go with it kids, because according to Thorburn you don't know shit anyway. Check out more pics and tour dates after the jump...








*photos by Peter Beer

Listen: "The Arm"

See also:
- Islands @ Cedar St. Courtyard - 13 March 2008 (SXSW Day 2, pics, live video/mp3)
- Spam Filter: Islands are a comin'
- Islands @ R Bar - 19 October 2007

See Islands Live:
27 May - Ottawa, Ontario @ Babylon
28 May - Montreal, Quebec @ Le National
29 May - Toronto, Ontario @ The Phoenix
30 May - London, Ontario @ Call the Office
31 May - Waterloo, Ontario @ The Starlight
01 Jun - Pontiac, MI @ Crofoot
02 Jun - Chicago, Ill @ Logan Square Auditorium
03 Jun - Minneapolis, MN @ First Ave.
04 Jun - Fargo, ND @ The Aquarium
05 Jun - Winnipeg, Manitoba @ West End Cultural Centre
06 Jun - Saskatoon, Saskatchewan @ Amigo's
07 Jun - Edmonton, Alberta @ Starlite
08 Jun - Calgary, Alberta @ Warehouse
10 Jun - Vancouver, British Columbia @ Plaza Club
12 Jun - Seattle, Washington @ Neumo's
13 Jun - Portland, OR @ Hawthorne Theatre
14 Jun - Eugene, OR @ Broadway Block Party
16 Jun - San Francisco, CA @ Bimbo's 365
17 Jun - Los Angeles, California @ Henry Fonda Theatre
19 Jun - San Diego, CA @ Epicentre
20 Jun - Tuscon, Arizona @ Club Congress
21 Jun - Tempe, Arizona @ Clubhouse
23 Jun - Austin, TX @ Emo’s Outside
24 Jun - Dallas, TX @ Granada Theatre
25 Jun - Houston, TX @ Walter's
26 Jun - Baton Rouge, LA @ Chelsea's
27 Jun - Atlanta, GA @ Masquerade
28 Jun - Charlotte, NC @ Neighbourhood Theatre

Visit Islands on MySpace.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

people who don't like the new album are likely kids who don't know shit, or shit about growing up, going through some weird times and moving forward in a music career. This is not a sophomore slump--it is an original masterpiece that lends itself to criticism...but change is good people.

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