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Of Monsters And Men: Wed, July 18 @ The Zoo, Brisbane

Words by Scenewave Australia - Published on July 26, 2012

I was lucky enough to cruise on down to the Zoo last Thursday night for the Of Monsters and Men gig, presented by Chugg Entertainment. The intimate setting at the Zoo suited this new Icelandic folk-pop sensation perfectly, allowing them to serenade the crowd during a blissful hour of soothing harmonies, mellow guitars and cute Icelandic accents.

They began with personal favourite “Dirty Paws”, the opener from their debut record My Head is an Animal, and the crowd was immediately hooked. The two lead vocalists, Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir and Ragnar “Raggi” Þórhallsson, had a great rapport with the crowd, winning them over with their broken English. I’m not normally into chicks with hair that looks like a New Years Eve prank gone wrong, but I’ll make an exception for Nanna. A girl with a gorgeous voice and sick chops on the guitar will do that to you.

The Icelandic six piece then proceeded to dedicate song “Hold On To Your Heart”, to the difference between Iceland and winter in Australia, of which they were gobsmacked that they were experiencing. “Mountain Sound” was an absolute treat, and has since been blaring out of my stereo non-stop. An absolute summer gem! “Love Love Love” mellowed the crowd out and gave all the camera-phone obsessed patrons a chance to catch an amazing shot for their Instagram followers.

“Lakehouse” prompted immediate crowd involvement, the band standing over the speakers to shout directly at the crowd. Crowd favourite “Little Talks” absolutely delivered the goods. The vibrant harmony, dynamic horn line and fast-paced guitar strumming made this one a number the crowd didn’t forget. Nanna and Raggi were so cute, smiling at each other whilst both singing ‘”my mind is playing tricks on you, my dear”, like a young couple in love.

The vocalists had great banter with the crowd, and they never took themselves too seriously. Nanna broke her guitar string at the end of the set, to which Raggi proclaimed, “Now that’s rock n’ roll!” “Six Weeks” finished off the first set, and the crowd was instructed to stomp along with the driving bass drum featured all the way through the song. It felt like they extended the outro longer and longer on that particular song, and I had no complaints. They then left the stage, the crowd absolutely gutted, thinking, ‘surely there’s more’!

After minutes of crowd cheering and stomping, Of Monsters And Men were back on stage, and playing an unexpected cover of the classic Cure song “Close To Me”. At first I couldn’t recognise it, then one of the memorable hooks hit me and I couldn’t believe it. One of my favourite songs of all time, turned into a slowed down, acoustic, horn-buzzing delight. Very impressive! The young Icelandics closed their encore with “Yellow Light”, and this time the crowd didn’t wait for any instruction before delving into a stampede that shook the Zoo’s floor.

It was a great set from this group who look like they still don’t realise that they’ve made it. The Zoo was greatly suited for the gig.


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