Herring commands the stage authoritatively, with an air not unlike your old friend from school's charming yet unnervingly eccentric dad. His performance is one of crystalline vocals contrasted with feral grunts, nimble dance moves performed with increasing alacrity, and engaging chat always tinged with a disarming graciousness and humility.
His disproportionately fleet-footed adventures around the stage include a cossack dance, a more than passable impression of Shakira, and what can only be described as a waterless slip 'n' slide. These exuberant moves are at odds with the totemic figures of Gerrit Welmers and William Cashion, who provide a beautifully layered soundscape onto which Herring paints his lyrical pictures.
Touring drummer Michael Lowry provides a potent yet restrained drive to proceedings with his efficient beats.
Early highlight 'A Dream of You and Me' is preceded by a slight setlist miscommunication, as Sam introduces it, yet quickly retracts this apologetically and the band launch into another robust synthpop gem, 'Ran'.
This track along with several others from the band's stellar 2017 album The Far Field form the spine of the show, and provide pomp in spades. This alternates with more meditative tracks from their catalogue peppered throughout, although the pace builds with gradual and definite intention.
This paves the way for a break which stretches just into the lengths of discomfort, with the less patient crowd members beginning to make their feelings known with some tentative booing just before the band arrive back onstage.
The band's extended encore is beautiful yet inconsistent, with both 'Inch of Dust' and 'Beach Foam' providing the synthpop equivalent of a funeral march in the least lachrymose sense possible. These tracks sandwich the New Order-channelling 'Vireo's Eye', which gives an unbalanced feeling to proceedings. Finale 'Little Dreamer' is pensive and stirring, even if it doesn't quite instil the feeling of catharsis the band might have envisioned. Still, the authenticity of their gratitude before they exit stage is palpable and results in a warm and affectionate send-off from the audience. We certainly couldn't help but smile on the way out the doors and beyond.
Sam told us at the outset, "this is gonna be awesome". Future Islands feel like a band who always strive for that zen-like height, even if they don't quite obtain it consistently.