This Weekend's Concert Picks: Future Islands at Kung Fu Necktie, Dashboard Confessional at Theatre Of Living Arts - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

It’s not easy to discern one synth-pop act from another, especially after years and years of hearing just about everything a synthesizer has to offer in pop music. Baltimore-based trio Future Islands, however, strays from the genre’s typical formula by offering a diverse range of lyrical emotion in juxtaposition with the cold sameness that’s difficult to avoid with synth noise. Tracks such as “In The Fall” (off the band’s 2010 EP of the same title) find front man Samuel T. Herring embarking on winding, four-minute poetic narratives before finally retiring to repeated choruses with words like, “You were my best friend.” It is those types of songs that separate Future Islands from so many of the genre’s other acts whose lead singers sound not like people, but mere extensions of their machines. Herring, instead, goes from quiver to screech and back again, easily suited for a banjo-strutting folk outlet or an arty orchestral six-piece. Thankfully, he instead chose synthesizers to compliment his growly voice, and together, the two styles are bright enough to stand out. Future Islands performs with Ed Schrader’s Music Beat and Goldboy at 8 p.m. at Kung Fu Necktie; tickets to the 21+ show are SOLD OUT. —Marielle Mondon

Future Islands – Balance from Thrill Jockey Records on Vimeo.

Also Playing: Bless the Fall + The Word Alive, Motionless In White, Tonight Alive, Chunk! No Captain Chunk at Theatre Of Living Arts (5:30 p.m., $28); Latterman + Yo Man, Go!, Slingshot Dakota, Shaved Christ at First Unitarian Church (7:30 p.m., all ages, $12); Rock To The Future Benefit featuring Crills Wilson + Best Westerns, Sunset Recorder, Little Light, Rosa Diaz at PhillaMOCA (8 p.m., $5); The Bigger Lovers + Photon Band, Jay Laughlin at Johnny Brenda’s (9:15 p.m., 21+, $10)

East Hundred + Val de Val, Turning Violet Violet at Milkboy Philly (9:30 p.m., $8–$10); Hey Rosetta! + Ivan And Aloysha, The Powder Kegs at Johnny Brenda’s (9:15 p.m., 21+, $10); J. Roddy Walston And The Business + Toy Soldiers, Brad Hinton Band at Kung Fu Necktie (7:30 p.m., 21+, $10); Owen + Caithlin de Marrais, Former Belle at North Star Bar (9 p.m., $13–$15)

Chris Carrabba, the lead singer and guitarist of Dashboard Confessional, continues his solo acoustic tour to promote the re-issue of the band’s first album, The Swiss Army Romance. More than a decade has passed since Dashboard Confessional’s 2000 debut touched the hearts of emo adolescents all over the globe; tempered by acoustic ballads of failed relationships, it allowed them to embrace the awkwardness of high school. In 2010—10 years and six albums later—Carrabba decided to re-release the album and tour behind it. A year later, it’s still working for him. So why mess with success? Dashboard Confessional performs with Madi Diaz at 6:30 p.m. at Theatre Of Living Arts; tickets to the all-ages show are $25 ($32 via Live Nation). —Caitlyn Grabenstein

Also Playing: Erin McKeown’s Anti-Holiday Show at World Cafe Live (6:30 p.m., $24–$34); Gauntlet Hair + Moon Women, Wigwams at Milkboy Philly (8 p.m., 21+, $8–$10); Gods And Queens Benefit Show featuring Ladder Devils + Carved Up, SGNLS, Ominus Black, Exemption, Tile at Little Bar (6 p.m., 21+, $10); Yacht + Parenthetical Girls, Extreme Animals at First Unitarian Church (8 p.m., all ages, $12)

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