OF MONSTERS AND MEN
Modern Icelandic Balladry Chills The Red Marquee
The stage was set, doused in hues of blue and pink and a droning background music lent a dark edge to the atmosphere of the Red Marquee on Sunday night as a expectant crowd crammed in to start cheering and clapping for Of Monsters and Men well before the band were due to take to the stage.
I was initially concerned that this dark mood might carry over into the show with an emphasis on the more sombre tones of second album “Beneath The Skin”, but I was pleased to find out otherwise. Of Monsters and Men sound falls for me somewhere between the wintry, quiet hurt found in Bon Iver and the tempestuousness of Florence + The Machine. The whimsy and capriciousness of their music translated into a vibrant and buoyant live experience in the Red Marquee. Echoing vocals featured heavily at the start of the show on “Thousand Eyes”; droning guitars, and an urgent build up on the drums that became thunderously intense. Songs like “Crystals”, “Dirty Paws” and “Little Talks” were crowd favourites and garnered manic leaping about and reverential weaving from certain parts of the audience, the rest raising their hands as though they could clasp the electric atmosphere about them.
In keeping with classic festival sets, Of Monsters and Men struck a fine balance between the more introspective numbers on their most recent album and the joyous and fanciful beginnings on “My Head Is An Animal”. The result was an hour of captivating and exciting music that infected the rest of the festival as fans spilled out into the night, still heady on tales of dragonflies and bees, oceans and ships, and an ambience otherworldly and euphoric.
Photo by mamiko miyakoshi / Text by Laura Cooper
Posted on 2015.7.27 00:29