Of Monsters And Men At The Olympia Theatre – Photos & Review
There was something understated about the arrival of Of Monsters and Men on the stage. Dressed in their usual ensemble of dark clothes, they burst into a cacophony of noise, the lighting behind them illuminating their figures in an almost ethereal manner. The flickering lights, combined with the haunting Scandinavian vocals of ‘Thousand Eyes’, worked to set the tone for their performance in the Olympia. The band (I counted nine members) manage to carefully orchestrate a show that is rife with emotions, filled with both moody musings and passionately uplifting songs. It’s almost a sort of dramatic performance with emotional climaxes and pinnacles of tension.
Of course, this story-like element to their writing has already been confirmed with tracks such as ‘Dirty Paws’ and ‘Silhouettes’ being featured on Hollywood blockbusters. The former of the two being met with rapturous applause during their three-track encore. ‘Dirty Paws’ certainly cemented the indie brilliance of their first album, My Head is an Animal, and, along with more wild and animalistic songs such as ‘Wolves Without Teeth’, marked their brilliance as songwriters with fantastic range. It was at points like this that one could appreciate how all nine members were strikingly valuable, creating the most eerie of atmosphere and commanding the attention of all in the audience. The vocals were some of the most on point and true to form ones I have ever witness, ringing through the theatre as clear as a bell.
It was evident that the band were truly focused on their latest album, Beneath the Skin, outstripping the number of tracks of My Head is Animal almost 11 to 6. Songs such as ‘King and Lionheart’ were sporadically played throughout the set, breaking the more looming elements of Beneath the Skin. These moments of uplift were marked with some of the most intense arm-waving ever witnessed. Although it wasn’t until ‘Lakehouse’, ‘Little Talks’, and ‘Six Weeks’ were played that the audience truly came alive and the audience was transformed into a sea of arms shaking and shimmering, the band being almost overwhelmed by rapturous cheer.
There was a notable absence of ‘Love, Love, Love’ in the set, it had clearly been replaced by ‘Organs’ although I don’t think a single audience member truly minded. It was a striking performance both in terms of sound and crowd reaction. ‘We Sink’ marked the end of their set and another stellar performance from the Icelandic band on a particularly icy night.
Review by Elaine McDonald
Photos by Anamaria Meiu