Future Islands – Lonnie Walker // Louisville, KY // 7.9.23

Future Islands with Lonnie Walker

Mercury Ballroom

Louisville, KY

July 9th, 2023


Baltimore synth-pop band Future Islands brought their recent tour to Mercury Ballroom on Sunday night to a sea of excited fans! Fans filed into the venue, filling the floor and balcony in search of the best spot to experience the amazing live experience. These guys have cultivated a passionate and loyal fan base since forming in 2006. Opening the show this evening was North Carolina alt-rock band Lonnie Walker. With bits of acoustic, rock, and Americana shining through their music, they had the crowd moving to the music in no time. Performing songs from their 2 albums, as well as a couple of singles that included their latest hit “Funny Feelin'”. Although they performed a fairly short set, they plowed through it with a fun energy that made for the perfect warm up to the evening.

Closing out the evening was Future Islands. Having never seen them live before, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but was blown away as soon as the band stepped out on stage. Singer Samuel T. Herring is a force on stage, and it was mesmerizing watching him to almost allow the music to guide his movements. With beautiful lighting, the stage and crowd, at times, were awash with tones of blue, green, pink, and other soft colors. They had a very minimal stage set up, with bassist William Cashion, drummer Michael Lowry, and keyboardist Gerrit Welmers set up towards the back of the stage, and Herring using the entirety of the stage to dance. He was incredibly engaging with the crowd, making eye contact with many of the fans with a beautiful intensity, as though they were feeling the music together. As much as the band loves their fans, their fans love them just as much, with many singing along with their arms outstretched and emotion etched on their faces. Starting out their set with “For Sure”, they performed a 17-song setlist that included hits such as “Peach”, “Plastic Beach”, “Seasons (Waiting on You)”, and “A Dream of You and Me”.

Herring chatted with the crowd throughout the set, often explaining the meanings of the songs before singing them, many of which he said were about growing up in North Carolina and his lived experiences. He told the crowd early on tha they had started the tour opening for Weezer, which is a different kind of experience, but was enjoying the intimacy of rooms such as the one the evening. Towards the end of the set, Herring thanked everyone for coming out this evening before announcing it was the last song. He then launched into “Thrill”, saying how it was a song about isolation and addiction in a small town. “Thank you Louisville. We are Future Islands. You all have been amazing. We’ll see you next time.” They then left the stage before coming back out for a 3-song encore, asking the crowd to dance with them some more! Closing out the evening with “Inch of Dust”, “Vireo’s Eye”, and “Little Dreamer”, Future Islands definitely gave their fans a night to remember!



Lonnie Walker


Future Islands

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