Schokoladen is a small independent venue in Berlin-Mitte, always on the brink of being closed due to financial and noise control reasons. But it has a lot of tradition, and part of that is that Future Islands played one of their first concerts in Europe here. So there was quite a bit of sentimentality involved in this show, from the band as well as the audience. They talked about it between sets too, for example how the host believed in them back then, and dedicated their track “Grease” to the venue later in the show.
I had high expectations of the event, because I am a fan of Future Islands and because their show at Lovelite last year was the best concert I saw in 2011. Full of energy, sweat, and filled with the emotional intensity lead vocalist Samual Herring brings to the stage. This open air show began rather slow after the one-man-looping band Petula played his set, but it was very personal and intimate from the beginning. And they won me over pretty soon by playing Cotton Flower, a song I asked Herring before the show if it would be played.
They then picked up pace from song to song, and finally kicked off the party in the front rows by playing “Tin Man”. If you have never been to a Future Islands concert you would never guess how much punch some of their songs develop in a live setting. Between the sweat and the light rain setting in I was wet and exhausted by the end, but very happy when they closed set and encore after ninety minutes with the beautiful “Little Dreamer”. Future Islands have definitely become one of my favorite live bands, so catch them on one of their upcoming shows in the US or Australia in September if you can.