A few nights ago I saw Of Monsters and Men – my favourite five piece indie-folk band from Iceland. The timing couldn’t have been better in terms of keeping me on my Iceland high and laser focused on my mission to see the Northern Lights mere weeks from now!
I last saw Of Monsters and Men perform last July at a much smaller venue with about a quarter of the audience – since then they’ve obviously grown in popularity though the show was performed just as intimately – with only one album to their name so far, there’s not a lot of room for variety but who needs it when every song is a winner!
To me, they and their music, epitomise so much of what I love about Iceland – it’s raw yet refined, fierce but fragile, primal and pretty, indie but inclusive, mythological and magnificent, brazen with a beauty that radiates light and energy without regard for how it is received – it just shines with a pride that needs no permission.
Their last song on both occasions was a very rousing rendition of Yellow Light which they described as a kind of lullaby. But rather than softening into soporific tones, it built to a crescendo of primal drumming and clashing cymbals that no doubt beats a rhythm into the heart of Icelandic children teaching them to dance to the beat of their own pounding heart – I certainly left the show doing just that.
I was met at the show by fellow Icelandophiles and music-lovers Kristen and Jon. The size and price of the show, especially in comparison to their last gig, sparked a conversation about the exorbitant price of live music in Australia compared to the paltry admissions we’d each paid for the countless shows we’d collectively attended around the globe.
It got me thinking…
I’m about to go around the globe so I’ve decided to check out who’s playing where in each of my destinations – particularly Reykjavik, London, New York and Vancouver. I’m particularly interested in local advice on bands that I may not yet have heard of so please let me know. Even advice on the best gig guides and venues would be greatly appreciated. Big thanks to Ryan in Canada who has already got this ball rolling with tickets to see Foxygen playing with Unknown Mortal Orchestra for only $13!!! That’s THIRTEEN DOLLARS (you pay around that in booking fees here for tickets you print yourself).
Now that this show is definitely going to hit the road, it’s time to work on the soundtrack!