Of Monsters and Men @ The Independent – 3/22 San Francisco, CA Of Monsters and Men @ The Independent – 3/22 San Francisco, CA

Of Monsters and Men @ The Independent – 3/22 San Francisco, CA

photos by Chris Valdés

Lead female singer, Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir, was shocked by the sheer volume of people screaming along to their songs. Although the band had just made a huge splash at SXSW, she repeatedly spoke about how humbled they were to have so many people make it out to their second concert date on their first American tour.

Most people in the crowd seemed tame, except for what I can only assume were uber-fans who decided to make their way to center stage with painted faces in black, white and purple. They looked more like Raider fans than Icelandic folky pop fans. The band was so stunned by the sight of these two, they had the bassist take a picture of the couple – front and center.

After they started playing, however, it became obvious why some people paid triple the price to be there that night.

After a smooth opening act from Lay Low, a one-woman sultry acoustic singer, the sold-out venue was ready for Of Monsters and Men, a band that was virtually unknown only a few months ago.

It may have been because I was directly behind the mustache-clad and colorful sock-wearing drummer, but the beat was infectious and made standing still virtually impossible.

“Little Talks,” as expected, exploded from the crowd and got people’s heart racing. Every song on their EP Into the Woods elicited smiles from all around and I’m pretty sure I saw a couple tears welling in peoples’ eyes as the soft “Love, Love, Love” poured over the auditorium.

The band’s energy was high and throughout the performance and they even brought in some accordion and trumpet solos that echoed from the walls of The Independent.

After their encore, Of Monsters and Men even treated the crowd to cover of The Cure – pretty much solidifying them as one of my favorite up and coming bands.

Whether it’s an aftershock of SXSW or the grassroots file sharing initiative of their fans, this Icelandic sensation is about to crash land on US soil pretty hard. Hipsters beware; this band is about to blow up, if they haven’t already; and if this performance was an indication of anything, it’s that their new album dropping in April, My Head is an Animal, will be huge.

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