By Matthew Bamber
The streets are buzzing again in Toronto as Canadian Music Week makes its return from May 1st – May 10th. A wide variety of music, film, and comedy acts are taking place across the city for the duration of the festival. One of these performances was by Icelandic folk-rock band Of Monsters and Men.
It was a packed house at Massey Hall on May 4th even before the headliners took to the stage. Norwegian band HighasaKite captured the ears of every audience member with an ominous and mysterious style of sound. While the lead singer had a heavy accent when speaking to the audience; the flawless vocals showed no error in their pronunciation when sung. I always find this very interesting in artists as it shows versatility in their music. The décor of the stage for their performance was surrounded by what looked like lights bulbs hanging freely from the air, making it almost seem like some sort of illusion was taking place.
When Of Monsters and Men took the stage, the roar of applause was definitely no illusion as it ran from wall to wall inside the intimate venue. The first two or three songs that were played by the band were taken very well from the audience as they shouted every word and danced in their seats. As they finished playing Crystal Eyes, a standing ovation from every audience member gave the band feedback as to how they were performing. Returning to the stage for an encore performance of Little Talks created a sing-along that cascaded lyrics from the mezzanine seats all the way to the stage.
The members of the band consist of lead singer/guitarist Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir, co-singer/guitarist Ragnar “Raggi” Þórhallsson, guitarist Brynjar Leifsson, drummer Arnar Rósenkranz Hilmarsson and bassist Kristján Páll Kristjánsson.
Of Monsters and Men kicked off their world tour in Toronto for this performance and I believe they will have a hard time topping it for the remainder of the tour. The melody and sheer power of the band’s sound is captivating as all you can do is watch and listen as the magic happens. Their new album is to be released on June 9th of this year. Be sure to keep an eye out for when they are in a city near you.