It’s been four years since Of Monsters and Men’s last appearance on Tyneside. With such an eagerly anticipated show it’s of no surprise that a packed out crowd is in attendance this Halloween weekend at the O2 Academy Newcastle to welcome the return of the Icelandic folk-rockers.
Earlier this year Of Monsters and Men released their critically acclaimed third album Fever Tree. And subsequently, the band are currently out on tour in support of their latest offering.
With their new record, Of Monsters and Men have pushed their artistic boundaries from outside of their more traditional indie folk background, and it has certainly paid dividends for them with some of their most creative and diverse compositions to date.
From the top of the show, the band are keen to showcase their latest record with both the sonically huge Alligator and Ahay both featuring. Although the band touches upon all three of their albums this evening, the majority of the set is drawn from both their debut and current albums. During the show the lion’s share of Fever Tree features.
Of Monsters and Men has the whole room in the palms of their hands from the top of the evening as they meander their way through a cluster of fan favourites. This includes back to back airings of hit singles such as the thunderous King And Lion Heart along with the up-tempo folk-rocker Mountain Sound.
Tonight’s set ebbs and flows whilst also highlighting the evolution of the Icelandic five piece’s sound. Tracks such as the synth tinged Sleepwalker, along with recent single Wild Roses and the somewhat funky Wars showcase the more contemporary, mainstream sound to their repertoire. The latter of which is not only enjoyable but also very danceable.
Vocalists Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir and Ragnar Þórhallsson perfectly complement one another all night long, particularly during tracks such as the incredible Stuck In Gravity.
As the band head into the final strides of their main set, it’s all about those huge folk-rock numbers that their fans have come to know and love. This includes the likes of Crystals and Lakehouse, along with smash hit Little Talks before things are brought to a close with Six Weeks. The whole room clapping and stamping their feet during the latter as the main set comes to its explosive conclusion.
But they aren’t done just yet, and despite it being a Sunday night neither are the Geordie faithful. A three-song encore that includes an ethereal rendition of Waiting For Snow, along with the harmonious Dirty Paws and the dreamy Yellow Night brings the show and the evening to a close.
With most of the UK attending Halloween parties this weekend, a night with Icelandic outfit Of Monsters and Men is a perfectly fitting as well as enjoyable alternative. This show is certainly more of a treat than a trick.