Northside Festival: Islands

Colin Jones :: Monday, June 28th, 2010 6:30 pm

Islands reach back and pull out the best parts of eighties art pop while discarding the gaudy excess.

At their show at the Northside Festival this weekend, there was an air of Startdust-era Bowie or Marc Bolan. Their styled white suits and wrap-around sunglasses matched their substance—a fresh group of pop songs that had hips shaking. Kicking things off with the uptempo, shimmering single and title track of their new album, “Vapours,” the band proved that pop can be, and still is, relevant.

The audience was enraptured through the entire show, and Islands, with Nick Thorburn as the ringmaster, earned their respect. Every member of the band seemed able to play each other’s instruments, and they moved around like changeable puzzle pieces, playing the synth, or the guitar, or the bass.

Many people pigeonhole pop or uptempo music—they laugh it off as danceable fluff. But Islands is approaching dance music with a different type of mindset. They are consciously aware of their creation. It’s fresh. And seeing them live is the perfect way to enjoy it.

Tour dates for ISLANDS:
Jun 28 2010 9:00P Harper’s Ferry Allston, MA
Jun 29 2010 9:00P Jerky’s Live Music Hall Providence, RI
Jun 30 2010 9:00P The Barbary Philadelphia, PA
Jul 1 2010 9:00P The Black Cat Washington DC
Jul 2 2010 9:00P Cat’s Cradle Carrboro, NC Find Tickets
Jul 3 2010 9:00P Eyedrum Atlanta, Georgia Find Tickets
Jul 4 2010 9:00P Alabama Music Box Mobile, Alabama Find Tickets
Jul 5 2010 9:00P Mangos Houston, Texas
Jul 6 2010 9:00P The Parish Room Austin, TX
Jul 7 2010 9:00P The Loft Dallas, TX
Jul 8 2010 9:00P Opolis Productions Norman, OK
Jul 9 2010 9:00P Firebird St. Louis, Missouri
Jul 10 2010 9:00P University of Wisconsin, The Terrace Madison, Wisconsin
Jul 12 2010 9:00P Lincoln Hall Chicago, IL Find Tickets
Jul 13 2010 9:00P Magic Stick Detroit, MI
Jul 14 2010 7:00P Mod Club Theatre Toronto, ON, CANADA
Jul 15 2010 5:00P Ottawa Blues Fest Ottawa, ON, CANADA
Jul 16 2010 9:00P Le Belmont Montreal, Quebec, CANADA
Jul 17 2010 7:00P L’Agitee Quebec, QC, CANADA