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For Icelandic indie-folk outfit, Of Monsters and Men, the past year has unfolded almost like one of the fantastical tales they so dearly sing about. Emerging from obscurity, the five-piece quickly grew to dominance in 2012, infiltrating the airways and hearts of hipsters around the nation. This was reflected by their number 2 ranking on triple j’s hottest 100 for stand-out hit, Little Talks, which in all honesty came as no surprise.
Here in Australia for Laneway, Of Monsters’ sideshow at The Metro sold out well before they hit our shores. The anticipation was evident, with the venue reaching near capacity for support act Melburnian Vance Joy, who serenaded the masses with his folksy tunes and homely charm. His stripped-back cover of The Boss’s Dancing in the Dark was quite impressive, and he left the stage to hearty applause – although a part of me felt this was more to do with the fact that the end of his set marked the beginning of the main event.
With the stage dimmed and ethereal sounds emanating, the band erupted on stage with the uplifting Dirty Paws, to the audience’s delight. For a band so young in their development, the genuine excitement and loyalty displayed by Of Monster’s fans was heart-warming, with the crowd enthusiastically singing, dancing, clapping, waving and stomping along.
Tearing through their set, it became apparent just how formulaic their songs are, building to flowing crescendos followed by strategically placed ‘la, la, las’ at the same place for almost every song. Normally this level of predictability would annoy me; however, the pure musicianship and down-to-earth nature of the band made it endearing.
Highlighting their debut album, My Head is an Animal, as well as a crafty cover of The Yeah Yeah Yeah’s Skeletons, the band closed their set on crowd favourite Little Talks and Six Weeks before returning for an encore, to roaring approval.
After seeing Of Monsters and Men Live, I was truly impressed. If this level of success marks the beginning for them, their future sure as hell looks bright.
(Photo By Jack Cowling)