Welcome to The Set List. Here you'll find the latest concert recaps for many of your favorite, or maybe not so favorite, artists. Our bloggers will do their best to provide you with every detail of the show, from which songs were on the set list to what the artist was wearing to which out-of-control fan made a scene. Hey, it'll be like you were there. And if you like what you read, we'll even let you know where you can catch the artist on tour. Feel free to drop us a comment and let us know your concert experience. Oh, and rock on.
By Ramon Alvarez-Smikle
Six-piece Icelandic folk/rock collective Of Monsters And Men have taken the world by storm. Their sudden rise to stardom is no accident, however, and now in the midst of their second world tour in as many years, they're not showing any signs of slowing down.
On May 22 eager fans at Chicago's historic Aragon Entertainment Center waited through an energetic 45-minute opening set by Montreal-based rockers Half Moon Run before they were able to get a glimpse at Of Monsters And Men. As the opening act concluded, a large white sheet dropped down and covered the entire front of the stage. Mysterious purple and red lights lit the stage as the crowd waited in anticipation.
At approximately 8:15 p.m. it began. Six distinct shadows appeared on the massive white sheet as the lights brightened, and the crowd cheered louder with excitement. As the crowd got louder, so did the music until the sheet finally fell to the ground.
The sold-out crowd of more than 4,000 fans was wild with delight as Of Monsters And Men opened their set with "Dirty Paws," the opening track from their critically acclaimed debut album, My Head Is An Animal. It was a beautiful way to open the show as the audience sang every word along with lead vocalists Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir and Ragnar Þórhallsson. The vigor present throughout the entirety of their set was magical as they charged through an energy-filled, beautifully crafted set that included a stunning cover of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' "Skeletons."
The energy crescendoed throughout the night as the band had the crowd jumping up and down and clapping along with their songs. At one point all of the band members left the stage, except for Hilmarsdóttir, who delivered a touching performance of the ballad "Love Love Love." As Hilmarsdóttir neared the end of the song, the crowd roared in appreciation as the rest of the band returned to the stage.
Just when you thought the energy had reached its peak for the night, Þórhallsson announced that their next performance would be "Little Talks," a worldwide hit and by far their most popular song. About midway through the song, the band abruptly stopped playing. The crowd sang the entire chorus together in a transcending moment, prompting the loudest cheers of the evening and the largest smiles from the band members.
The band closed with their upbeat anthem "Six Weeks," a fitting way to end such a lively set. As the band exited the stage, the cheers only got louder. To everyone's delight, they returned to play two more songs, "Yellow Light" and "Numb Bears."
As the night came to an end, everyone in the audience had their hands in the air clapping along to the beat. The six band members took a final bow and exited the stage, ending a fun-filled night of folk/rock, dancing and happiness.
To catch Of Monsters And Men in a city near you, click here for tour dates.
"Slow And Steady"
"Beneath My Bed"
"Skeletons" (Yeah Yeah Yeahs cover)
"Love Love Love"
"King And Lionheart"
(Ramon Alvarez-Smikle works as the GRAMMY U Representative for The Recording Academy Chicago Chapter. He has interviewed artists such as M83, Toro Y Moi and Porter Robinson, among others. He has been published on many online blogs and websites over the past year, including GRAMMY.com.)