Future Islands, Thank You, Ed Schrader’s Music Beat at Red Palace

Yes, there was a Future Islands review yesterday. Yes, there is a Future Islands review today. Yes, we go to see Future Islands a lot (but never together, I might add). Yes, Future Islands is awesome.

I headed into D.C. to the Red Palace for the first time, hearing mixed reviews on the quality of venue, other than the unanimous opinion that the location is horrible. And it is. Dear D.C., please put venues somewhere that is Metro accessible and/or has adequate parking. Not in Northeast where there’s no Metro stop, where H Street is a construction zone and the only parking is on the street. Not cool. Other people had told me that the sound at Red Palace was questionable as well, which seemed to be true for 1/3 of the show.

But it was another night for Baltimore in D.C. as the bill consisted of one established Baltimore icon and two lesser known acts thought to be on the rise. Red Palace was just about empty as I arrived for Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, featuring Ed Schrader on the floor tom and vocals and Devlin on the bass. I’d previously seen Ed Schrader open by himself for the No Deachunter round robin in August 2009 in Brooklyn, which exposed me to “Beautiful Transvestite in the Rain.” Schrader has definitely developed his craft in the time since then, as the melodies of his songs were more graceful, with a Joy Division-esque feel sometimes. The addition of the bass added a lot as well, and for being just a bass and a floor tom, it’s really easy to get into. I was really impressed and hope he keeps coming up with newer and better things, although I was disappointed “Beautiful Transvestite” didn’t make an appearance.

Thank You, regarded as an up-and-coming band in the scene was up next, and put an a great display. While most of the music was instrumental, it was fast and intense, with catchy melodies floating around and grabbing your ear. The set was extremely tight, but the sound problems of Red Palace reared their head during this set, as the instrumentation seemed to overpower the vocals and there was some spastic feedback here and there. Overall, Thank You is definitely a band on the rise and deserves to be watched in the Baltimore scene.

Finally, Future Islands. So much to be said, so much that has already been said. Sam, Will, and Gerrit did their thing perfectly, exquisitely weaving new songs into the older songs from In Evening Air everyone has become so accustomed to. It was a perfect set, as some of the newer songs like “On the Water,” “Town” and the last one with the word “fire” in it’s name bring a new, different vibe to the set. While it’s a different vibe, it’s still awesome and brings great things to the music, making me look forward to the next Future Islands release.

But the staple tracks like “Inch of Dust,” “In The Fall,” and “Tin Man,” along with “Long Flight” and “Walking Through That Door” had me dancing in the front row, just letting go everything and living in the moment with Future Islands. It was perfect. As the band closed with “Vireo’s Eye,” the entire place got moving and was just fun. It’s easy to see why we keep coming back to this band.



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