By Lauren Gill
In August 2011, Philadelphia’s Radio 104.5 debuted Of Monsters and Men’s triumphant wall of Icelandic sound “Little Talks.” Fast forward to April 2012 and the sextet has sold out shows in a matter of minutes across the U.S. even before their album “My Head is an Animal” hit American soil. They are often called the Icelandic counterparts to Mumford and Sons and Arcade Fire.
Their Tuesday night show at the Theater of the Living Arts was part mysticism and part celebration and coincided with the American release of “Little Talks.” The night highlighted one of the most appealing aspects Of Monsters and Men: their passion for live performance. They seemed to be having as much fun, if not more fun, than their audience, often exchanging smiles as if to say to one another, “I can’t believe this is happening.”
Armed with charming accents, tambourines, a trumpet, accordion, and every other instrument imaginable, Of Monsters and Men took a stage was adorned with Christmas tree lights and delivered a jubilant show.
The band took the crowd through their debut album with a few surprise add-ons. The Icelandic upstarts showed off their versatility, shining on the upbeat, soaring numbers and during more delicate moments. “Lakehouse” was an excellent example of the band’s attention to melodies, as the crowd joined the Monsters a capella for the outro The sextet performed a praiseworthy electric rendition of The Cure’s song “Close to Me.” Of course, the highlight of the night came with their captivating single “Little Talks,” which was positioned near the end of their regular set. This was by far the biggest sing-along in a night full of sing-alongs. Accompanying the rousing chorus was a glorious trumpet solo that flooded the TLA with nothing short of pure musical joy.
Following their regular set, the band came out for a three-song encore, much to the excitement of the crowd. They ended with the last song on their record, the fragile yet magical “Yellow Light.”
Given their outstanding success and passionate fan base, Of Monsters and Men seems to have every reason to feel as elated as their performance suggested. Their song “From Finner” seems to speak to their sentiments best: we are far from home but we’re so happy.
Slow and Steady
King and Lionheart
Love, Love, Love
Close to Me (The Cure cover)
Beneath my Bed