Show Review: Of Monsters and Men @ Tower Theater 11/24
Of Monsters and Men graced the Tower Theater in Philadelphia on Saturday with a performance akin to the clarity of their debut album, My Head is an Animal, in front of a sold-out house.
The six members (+1 for the show), led by vocalists Nanna Bryndis Hilmarsdóttir and Ragnar Þórhallsson, arrived on stage around 9:45 and didn’t waste time jumping into “Dirty Paws”. The slow-starting song relies heavily on clean, synched lyrics alongside an acoustic guitar before jumpstarting with drummer Arnar Rósenkranz Hilmarsson lifting the tempo to a jog. Just one song into the show, the outline of everything to follow fell into place. One second sweet vocals would sing across the two-level theater and the next, trumpet, accordion, keyboards and every other instrument on stage would drive the pace upward.
Nanna donned a large, wide-brimmed hat as she shook all around the right side of the stage. Apart from everyone on stage (outside of a few trumpet solos), she warranted the most attention, and even was the most social with the audience, as she jumped into the pit to shake hands with the lucky front rowers. During the moments she sang, her voice rang as close to the quality you would hear from a recording studio, which to me, is the real draw of the group.
The entire show lasted for a little over an hour, which makes sense since Of Monsters and Men only have one album. They added in Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ “Skeletons” song from It’s Blitz!, which wasn’t quite the original from Karen O, but it wasn’t presented to be it either. This group really has its own style, regardless of what genre you try to fix to them. They are Icelandic folk pop in my mind – meaning, they are pop in Iceland’s standards, but not in the rest of the world’s.
To catch more of Of Monsters and Men as they continue to tour, check out their tour dates and then a secondary ticket market (ex. StubHub) since all of the shows are sold out. They can also be found on Twitter and Facebook. My Head is an Animal and is available on iTunes.
Slow and Steady
Skeletons (Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover)
Love Love Love
King and Lionheart