Friday, 24 May 2013

Of Monsters and Men - Paradiso, 23 March 2013

Tassels, Top Hats and Trumpets; but alas no Triumph.

Reveling at the chance to see these guys play live again, I had already penciled in BIG win on this gig. This is always a dangerous starting position and the show ended up only being ok, maybe they had just set the bar so high last time that this was actually better than it felt.

Right off the bat, the opening song was only okay, not great.

And right from the start it felt like these guys had been touring for a long time. It was about then that I heard the words that I never like to hear “this is our last show in Europe for a while”….. And whilst the band were all happy enough to be there, they did seem to be a bit flat, and who could blame them they have probably been on a ridiculously grueling touring schedule over the last year.

On top of the band looking a bit lethargic, the crowd also seemed to be a bit flat too, this was very different from the previous time I had seen them. Last time the energy on stage and around the room was palpable. Furthermore previously the guitarist and the drummer were inseparable and really were playing off each other, this time however that energy between them was just about nonexistent.

What I did like this time was the drummer’s shirt which was adorned with tassels down the arm (maybe something the Ultimate Warrior would have worn if he wanted to go out in the evening in a long sleeved shirt). The guitarist also came out wearing top hat and tails, and the hat was pretty much donned by all of the band members at various times throughout the show.

There was also a great moment when the lead singer and the drummer were singing at/ sparing with each other that was fantastic to see with this raw emotion. But all these things felt like they were merely just add-on’s to the main part of the evenings performance, which of course was the music. And it was the music that had ultimately let them down on the night.

Unfortunately (for starters) the set on the night was only 13 songs long, and the show itself was all done bar the shouting by about 9:30pm. This is pretty unheard of for shows at the Paradiso. In fact I would go so far as to say that this may have been a first for me in Amsterdam.

By the end they had run through most of the songs they had, along with a cover of a Yeah, Yeah, Yeah’s song and then finally when they got to the song everyone was waiting for “Little Talks” it really felt as though the band was just going through the motions. On top of that the encore felt very light and it consisted of only two songs (Sloom and Yellow light) and they we good enough, but far from earth shattering.

When I look back on the show, I think that most of the crowd would have been moderately disappointed; I sure was because I had been to the top of the mountain last show with these guys and I know just how good they really could be.

For me the highlight of the evening had come in the form of support act, another Icelander, going by the name of Mugison. It was his eclectic music styles that both took me by surprise and really impressed me, so much so I ventured out to the merch desk and bought all 5 of his disks at the end of his set. He is one artist that I am super keen to see again and just another great artist to emerge from Iceland.

All up it was an average evening of music with some great mates, in my favorite music venue in the world. I guess you have to have a so-so night every now and then just too really appreciate how special the good ones are.


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