This past Friday (November 19) was a great day for local music in Raleigh. Hopefully most of you dropped by after work or class and came out to the Harris Field lawn to check out our November installment of Fridays on the Lawn featuring The Tender Fruit and The Tomahawks. Despite the chillier weather, we experienced a great turnout as people came out with blankets and snuggies to enjoy the free pizza and music.
The Tender Fruit was represented solely by Christy Smith, an N.C. State graduate in English, who managed to hold her own as she worked the kick drum and strummed her guitar. Smith’s voice is really something to admire. On the band’s recent album, Flotsam & Krill, I was blown away by her vocal dynamics, especially on track “Get Out of the Car.” Performing live, she was equally as powerful and her set proved to be calming but also a pleasant juxtaposition against the grittier headliners, The Tomahawks. This past August, Indy Week covered an interesting story on Smith, her past relationship with Justin Vernon of Bon Iver, and how Flotsam& Krill is a response to Vernon’s hit album For Emma, Forever Ago. You can check out the article here.
Although the concert was over before 9 p.m., local music fans were in luck as Future Islands were headlining at Kings Barcade in downtown Raleigh that night as well. Well, that is, if they had bought a ticket in advance as the show was sold out. Although I missed the opener NAPS, I was greeted by the familiar and pleasant sounds of Veelee upon walking into Kings. Matt and Ginger focused their set on their newer songs off their latest album The Future Sight. Veelee recently opened for Merge Record’s powerhouse, Caribou, on Halloween, which is a sign there are bigger and better things awaiting them.
Lonnie Walker was the last band to perform before the headliners came on stage. The bands are well known friends as Walker and Future Islands recently put out a split 7" together. The crowd at this point of the night were getting into a frenzy. The front part of the stage where I had posted myself had become a dance floor. My head was particularly swaying to many of the tracks on Island’s recent album, In Evening Air. The night was everything to be expected of Future Islands: funny antics from lead singer Sam Herring, stage dancing, and great music.