In a year that’s brought blow after blow after blow, the Islands show at the Hi-Fi seems like a port in the perpetual shit storm we’ve been weathering. People in the crowd were ecstatic, bordering on feral, to see Nick Thorburn and company play. Voices shrieked out song titles in hopes that the band’s setlist would be scrapped in favor of audience suggestions, but Thorburn cracked a calming smile and wryly said, “you’ve waited 11 years for this, you can wait 30 more minutes.” Even with that assurance, people all over the venue lost their minds at the beginning of every single song. “Rough Gem” elicited a near-exorcism from the guy behind me while “Hallways” caused two people to scream and start hugging each other like kids who just found out tomorrow is a snow day.
Steady Holiday opened up the evening, calling the venue to attention with a dulcet voice and Buckley-esque guitar. As ferocious as the crowd was for Islands, they were enthralled with Dre Babinski in equal measure; the only sounds coming out of the crowd were sips of beer followed by rapturous applause and then ordering more beer. Babinski even seemed surprised at one point, that anyone would listen so politely and respond so positively. The whole show was undoubtedly a great moment for everyone there.
Words and photos by Doug Fellegy (via Flickr)