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Review, Photos, Videos: Future Islands, Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, Peachcake at Rhythm Room

In case you missed it, last night’s Future Islands, Ed Schrader’s Music Beat, Peachcake show at Rhythm Room was a lesson in stage presence.

Step 1 – Movement matters: Take advantage of the space.

PEACHCAKE: The band used the venue as the stage, covering nearly every foot of the modest-sized Rhythm Room. Two of the four members, Stefan Pruett and Mike McHale, came off of the stage, the former spending at least 75 percent of the set immersed in the audience.

ED SCHRADER’S MUSIC BEAT: Ed Schrader, whose job it was to stand in front of a drum and mic, moved as much as he could given his situation. He circled around his drum a few times, keeping the beat. Though Schrader and bassist Devlin Rice weren’t as animated as Peachcake, their set was almost more effective because of their lesser movement (with the dark setting).

FUTURE ISLANDS: Vocalist Samuel T. Herring didn’t step off the stage during the show. He didn’t need to. Within the confines of the stage, he delivered what I can only describe as the most exalting performance I’ve ever witnessed. Jolted, yet controlled. Passionate, but not detached. The theatrics of Herring were thrilling and I think it’s safe to say that his hips don’t lie.

Step 2 – Interact with the crowd, but don’t be too forward.

PEACHCAKE: Umm, hello? What other band have you seen get their fans to form a “human train” and travel around the venue, huddle in a circle, and engage in aerobics? Exactly. Peachcake’s set was active and interactive. With that said, the members were never pushy about getting people involved. Between nine and 12 people steadily danced with the band. “Thank you. You are all the power you ever fuckin’ need, don’t let anybody tell you otherwise,” said Pruett, before the set came to a close.

ED SCHRADER’S MUSIC BEAT: The bandmates, who are also roommates, thanked the audience for being “sweet,” and at one point asked them to applaud “Cake. The band.” But they left most of the physical interaction to the other groups. At intervals, they talked to each other and the audience, sharing the name of the song and sometimes the story behind it. One song, Schrader noted, was for the assholes and crazy bitches. “Men can be bitches too,” he added.

FUTURE ISLANDS: Herring also shared the name and meaning of each song, but as he expressed at the beginning of the set, “I don’t want to talk much, I want to sing.” The frontman didn’t need small talk. He interacted through his eyes and gestures, holding eye contact with concertgoers in the front rows.

Step 2.5 – Tell at least one joke (or something to make someone laugh).

PEACHCAKE: “Thank you for coming to see us over Morrissey […] or maybe I am Morrissey,” said Pruett. This may have been funnier coming from Herring, whose dance moves and face brought to mind Steven Morrissey.

ED SCHRADER’S MUSIC BEAT: “I’m a dishwasher from Baltimore. Happy to not be washing dishes, happy to not be in Baltimore,” said Schrader.

FUTURE ISLANDS: “I love your Dockers!” yelled someone in the crowd. “This is actually Sears brand […] thrift store, ” replied Herring.

Step 3 – Make good music.

Solid performances from all the bands.







An Apology
Inch of Dust
Before the Bridge
Tin Man
The Great Fire
Close to None
Long Flight
Walking Through That Door
Old Friend
Vireo’s Eye


The Happiness of Being Twice
Beach Foam


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