After Friday night’s show at Outer Space, we’re thinking a secret cabal is afoot. Whoever pulled the strings to put together last November’s short but memorable triple header at Andolini’s downtown — featuring the heavily buzzed South Carolinian Toro Y Moi with Thrill Jockey label mates Future Islands and Thank You — is looking downright genius. Not two weeks after Toro Y Moi’s well-received return, Baltimore trio Future Islands brought their spirited, New Order-inspired synth-pop back to Charleston. Secret cabal, if you’re out there, we salute you.

Fueled by a stop at nearby Santi’s, Future Islands once again delivered a spectacle of a show. Magnetic frontman Samuel Herring was a wonder to watch, moving to the agony and ecstasy of the lyrics and bassist William Cashion’s dexterous grooves while pulling the crowd in close with his often gruff but heartfelt voice.

For their part, Outer Space provided the perfect intimate venue, allowing people to get close to the action inside while quite a few of us milled outside in the perfect spring air with brown-bagged beers and watched through the open garage door. Toward the end of the set, the band released several hundred balloons into the crowd. In another venue, the gesture might have been taken as bitingly ironic, but on this night, it was just plain old-school fun.

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