This weekend, I ventured down to Nap Town to see Dan Boeckner’s new rock outfit, Operators, which opened for Future Islands at the Vogue on Saturday night. My road trip playlist consisted of Operator’s fresh EP1, Spoon’s new LP They Want My Soul, and Future Islands’ Singles (it was a rad mix!).
With Divine Fits on hiatus and Britt Daniel / Alex Fischel busy promoting Spoon’s new LP , Boeckner and Sam Brown are taking no breaks. Their new band consists of Boeckner on vocals/synth/guitar, Brown on drums, and Devojka (Macedonian singer/songwriter) on drum machine/synth/blips & boops. Since Operators had only released their 5-song EP a mere four days before the show, I was unsure what to anticipate. Based on their release, I was expecting a synth-driven, post-wave set, but what I heard was slightly different.
Operators kicked off their set with "Ancient", and immediately incited a dance party. Just listening to that track, how can you not want to groove? Songs that I recognized from their EP also included "Start Again", and "True" (which according to Devojka, is "written about sex so good, you think you’re in love"). Devojka's necklace broke during the performance of "True", and afterward she added, "and like good sex, sometimes your jewelry breaks..." The other songs of the night mostly featured Boeckner on guitar, and were definitely leaning more toward the Fugazi/punk influences that he hinted at in earlier interviews. I was slightly disappointed that "Book Of Love" made no appearance, but perhaps this song isn't ready for live shows yet.
While it was clear that the majority of attendees were there for Future Islands, it seemed that Operators wowed some Hoosiers into instant fandom. The energy during the set was at approaching level 11, and the trio authentically appeared to be having fun. Operators also seem to be tinkering with their sound (it’s only their 2nd show on this tour!). Taking a page from Fits band-mate Britt Daniel’s stage dress code, Boeckner donned a suit jacket for most of the show. However, toward the end, his trademark cut-off t-shirt made an appearance. Their quick 40 minute set left me hungering for more, and I’m already eagerly wishing for EP2 (if it exists).
The last song of the night reminded me of punk Springsteen (if such a thing doesn't exist, it does now). It was incredibly catchy, and a perfect send-off. Future Islands were expectedly fantastic, and the pairing of these two bands is an unbelievable gift from the rock gods. Please find a way to see this show if it happens to swing by a city near you.
Pics :: Kristen Jackley @ NUVO
Operators Tour Dates
8/8 - Millvale, PA @ Mr. Small's Theatre w/ Future Islands *
8/9 - Indianapolis, IN @ The Vogue w/ Future Islands
8/10 - Milwaukee, WI @ Turner Hall w/ Future Islands
8/11 - Sioux Falls, SD @ Latitude 44 w/ Future Islands
8/12 - Fort Collins, CO @ Aggie Theatre w/ Future Islands
8/13 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Kilby Court
8/15 - Boise, ID @ Egyptian Theatre w/ Future Islands
8/16 - Portland, OR @ Doug FIr Lounge w/ Future Islands *
8/18 - Sacramento, CA @ Harlow's w/ Future Islands *
8/19 - Fresno, CA @ Star Palace w/ Future Islands
8/20 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre w/ Future Islands
8/21 - Los Angeles, CA @ The Fonda Theatre w/ Future Islands *
8/22 - San Diego, CA @ The Irenic w/ Future Islands *
8/24 - Phoenix, AZ @ The Crescent Ballroom
8/25 - Tucson, AZ @ 191 Toole w/ Future Islands
8/27 - Denver, CO @ Gothic Theatre w/ Future Islands *
8/28 - Omaha, NE @ The Waiting Room w/ Future Islands
8/29 - Des Moines, IA @ Wooly's w/ Future Islands
8/30 - Chicago, IL @ Schubas
8/31 - Columbus, OH @ The Big Bang w/ Future Islands
9/2 - Montreal, QC @ La Tulipe w/ Future Islands *
9/3 - Burlington, VT @ Higher Ground Ballroom w/ Future Islands
9/4 - Portland, ME @ Port City Music Hall w/ Future Islands
9/7 - Toronto, ON @ Horshoe Tavern
9/10 - New York, NY @ Central Park Summerstage w/ Spoon
9/11 - Munhall, PA @ Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead w/ Spoon
9/13 - Hamilton, ON @ Supercrawl / FREE EVENT
10/23 - Halifax, NS @ Halifax Pop Explosion
* = SOLD OUT