Nick Thorburn, also known as Nick Diamonds, and his band Islands returned to House of Blues in the Parish Room on October 16th. They are an indie rock band from Montreal, Quebec, Canada and are now based in Los Angeles. Islands has changed its lineup with almost every new album, apart from Nick Thorburn consistently fronting the group. They recently recorded two albums simultaneously and released them both on May 13, 2016: Taste, which relies quite heavily on electronic sounds like synthesizers and drum machines, and Should I Remain Here, At Sea? which is has been received as a follow-up to their debut album, Return to the Sea.
Alex Cameron of Sydney, Australia opened the night with a charmingly awkward stage presence and silver, velvet attire. He sang along to laptop backing tracks, while his “friend and business partner” played saxophone to compliment parts of the songs. The music was mildly comedic and very influenced by romantic 80’s downtempo with lounge-style vocals.
Islands stepped out at about 9:00pm and played for a good hour and a half. The four-piece was very tight, and the two brothers in the group, Geordie and Evan, both played a mixture of keys, synths, guitar, and bass. Nick was reserved, encouraging the audience not to speak during the quiet sections of the tunes, but overall very friendly and happy to be playing the music he’d written over the last decade. The setlist was a combination of old and new music ranging from their first album to their two new releases. They opened with “Charm Offensive” from Taste, and closed the evening with "Rough Gem" from Return to the Sea for the encore, which was genuinely demanded by the fans.