Concerts Concerts Of Monsters and Men Warm the Kool Haus With Their Icelandic Charm

Of Monsters and Men Warm the Kool Haus With Their Icelandic Charm

Of Monsters and Men at Kool Haus
Of Monsters and men

Kool Haus in Toronto, ON
November 15, 2012

Review by: Melissa Adamson
Photos by: Allison Janzen

Just a year ago Of Monsters and Men was playing at the El Mocombo - a venue with about a 400-person capacity. This time around, they started the North American leg of their tour with two sold out shows at the Kool Haus - a venue that fits upward of 3,000 people.


It was incredible to see the surprise and delight from the band at the site of the group of loving fans; the seemed to be as awed by the audience as the crowd was by them.

Of Monsters and Men are rapidly rising in popularity and standing out amongst an impressive group of folk rock bands, such as Mumford and Sons and The Lumineers, who are also experiencing significant mainstream success. Despite their swift rise in popularity, Of Monsters and Men are confident and dynamic performers, with a fullness of background vocals and a variety of instruments that fill a venue. Their lyrics comes to life with the inter-play between Ragnar Þórhallsson and Nanna Bryndis Hilmarsdottir - His smooth voice provides the solid base for her sweet and sporadic tempo.

Since her voice seems more unique, it tends to stand out more than his during their live performances. It wasn’t until the last song, “Six Weeks”, where he was able to take the lead and show the full power of his vocals, ending the set on an exhilarating note. Other notable songs of the night were “Dirty Paws” and “Mountain Sound”, when the whole band’s background vocals were heard the clearest.

The band’s communication with the audience was in the form of charming introductions before each song and the occasional banter from Hilmarsdottir, including an “Oh my God, this is so exciting… what song is it going to be?” before starting into “Little Talks”. Instead of just speaking at the crowd between songs, the band interacted with them while performing. In fact, every song seemed to offer a moment perfect for audience participation. The crowd clapped and danced throughout each song, and showed their adoration with an impressive sing-along to “Mountain Sound.”

There were many moments of unabashed joy from both the audience and the band, and it was by far the most energetic and loving crowd I have seen all year. With huge smiles on their faces, it was impossible not to get caught up in the band’s excitement. They seemed to be genuinely surprised by the support of the audience - an endearing quality that is well received by their fans.  

Set list:
Dirty Paws
From Finner
Slow and Steady
Mountain Sound
Your Bones
Skeletons
Love Love Love
King and Lionheart
Lakehouse
Little Talks
Six Weeks

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