Ten years after their first entry in NPR’s Tiny Desk concert series, Future Islands returned to perform a Covid-19-safe remote set from an empty Carroll Baldwin Memorial Hall in their home base of Baltimore.
“We lost the desk,” lead singer Sam Herring joked, but the band had an advantage: With only drummer Michael Lowry onstage, the rest of Future Islands — including bassist William Cashion and synth keyboardist Gerrit Welmers — took to the auditorium floor to dance and jump around as they performed tracks from their most recent album, As Long As You Are. After performing newer songs “Hit the Coast,” “The Painter,” and “Thrill,” Future Islands finished with a 2011 track called “Balanced.”
“This is a song for anybody who’s struggling through their lives,” Sam Herring said by way of introduction, “and I know there are a lot of you all out there, just trying to get by, but it’s going to take a little bit more time.”
Future Islands released As Long As You Are this past October, following their 2017 album The Far Field. In lieu of a live tour, the band performed a special livestream show on their album release day. Herring also contributed vocals to DJ Shadow’s 2020 single, “Our Pathetic Age.”