Of Monsters and Men at The Olympia on the 21st of February 2013

Of Monsters and Men have had an incredible year; coming from remote obscurity and exploding on to the Summer festival circuit in 2012. Having played at last year’s Electric Picnic, for what was many one of the highlights of the festival, they were back to Ireland in 2013 for a sold out show at The Olympia Theatre, Dublin. Could one of 2012’s most hype bands carry that hype into 2013, for the start of a tour that would see them play seven-months packed-full of sell-out shows and festival appearances?

First things first though, as any self-righteous hat enthusiasts will note, Nanna (lead-singer) is famed for her hat escapades and as OMAM took to the stage, the crowd repelled in horror (not really) as the sight of a bare-headed Nanna appeared. Dirty Paws, one of their biggest singles, is the first song to be played on the night, albeit without hats. Oddly enough, the ram packed crowd on the night were more than subdued for what one would’ve imagined to be a crowd favourite. Nonetheless, Nanna and Reggi deliver as they impress in the more calm sections and boom out in the first of many ‘la la la’ choruses on the night.

From Finner, Slow and Steady and surprisingly Mountain Sound, once again one of their more upbeat and exciting singles, fails to impress as OMAM merely go through the motions. Something just isn’t clicking as the seven-strong band appear motionless and fail to kick up a gear even though the songs are seeing a huge change in tempo.

Your Bones and Skeletons (a weak Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover) see the same reaction until Love, Love, Love comes along and shows us what made this concert a sell out in a matter of days. Nanna takes this song and purely delights as she wistfully floats through this beautiful anti-love song as she sings “you love, love, love, when you know I can’t love you”. This beauty is all well and good but when the crowd rudely chatter, no shout, over the top, it not only embarrasses but disappoints as wonder takes place on the stage.

King and Lionheart thankfully sees the crowd silenced as the volume is turned up a notch. For the first time in the gig, The Olympia ignites into life and provides the level of performance people remembered from Electric Picnic. Lakehouse once again introduces us to the ‘la la la party from earlier, as the disinterested crowd finally have something to sing along to. Little Talks comes next and provides the ‘I know one of their songs off the radjo, so I’ll buy a ticket’ crowd a chance to exercise their vocal ability.

Six Weeks plays out as the band leave the stage. Then some handsome, plastic bag wielding, impressive moustache adorning, Nordic man comes to the stage, as a type of folk hype-man as he encourages the crowd to “growl, screetch and stomp”. Once this party trick has run its course the band return to play Sloom, which bores as the band remain motionless yet again. Yellow Light ends the nights proceedings with another slow number, that is until we get the mother of all ‘la la la’ parties at the end. The ‘la la la’ section, at last count, went on for 4 long days (perhaps minutes), or so it seemed.

In the end, the performance had flashes of brilliance but failed to impress overall. A lot of negatives stemmed from the uninterested crowd which ruined the atmosphere in many parts of the night. Regardless of all these things, you can’t help but imagine how things could have been different if poor Nanna had brought along her hat – a boy can dream.

Of Monsters and Men Photo Gallery

Photos: Sean Smyth