Of monsters and men review bear family

IN THE FLESH! Of Monsters and Men @ The Tivoli


Words by Georgia Corpe

Photos by Cristina Jorgensen

It’s 7:30 and the Tivoli is packed, but else would you expect from Icelandic folk bunch Of Monsters and Men as they travel around the country, selling out shows left, right and centre. This is the first run of shows since their appearance at last years Splendour in The Grass, and as sold out venues full of beloved fans evidence, this tour has been long awaited.

The tour see’s Sydney’s newest girl-wonder Gordi warm up the Icelander’s around the country. Opening up the night’s aura of placid, gentle music, Gordi’s minimalist tunes coupled with her unmistakable husky vocal melodies set the evening’s tones machine to dreamy. Charming the audience with her tales of Wikipedia bio cross-overs with a Yugoslav heavy metal band also named Gordi, and closing out her set with tracks such as Can We Work it Out and Nothing’s As it Seems, the Sydney songstress wins the crowd over in anticipation for her debut EP Clever Disguise.

Soon enough Of Monsters and Men take to the stage. With soft light illuminating only the backline, the slow burn of Thousand Eyes that slowly climaxes to a strobe-infused chaotic dance feast, all whilst vocalist Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir beats her accessible floor tom, immediately calms and wows the crowd. Showing off another from their 2015 sophomore album Beneath the Skin the Icelander’s creep into Empire, a song that embodies that unmistakable OMAM sound whilst still developing a slightly more mature undertone. The setlist then embarks onto the songs that are real crowd howlers, with King and Lionheart and Mountain Sound. 

OMAM’s live performance really exemplifies why this band just works as a band (you know what I mean?). Yes, okay, they have some ridiculously catchy songs that you may have heard on Triple J four years ago but then Nova started playing them so they were too mainstream for you, but their live show is really what separates them from just another pop-folk band with a few good tunes. As guitarist and co-vocalist Raggi Þórhallsson keeps a fairly mellow composure throughout tonight’s show, Hilmarsdóttir’s eclectic get-up, hypnotic dance moves and infectious energy brings out the best in the band, and make the band’s live performance an enchanting one. The band sign off with Yellow Light, leading us all into the Fortitude Valley with sleepy time on our minds.


Cristina Jorgensen

Cristina is one of our Brisbane collective and she loves music more than just about anyone you know. A talented lady and lovely to boot.

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