Coachella Week: 5 thoughts on Of Monsters and Men at the Cosmopolitan

April 17, 2013 at Boulevard Pool

Icelandic group Of Monsters and Men played at Cosmopolitan’s Boulevard Pool on April 17, 2013.
Photo: Erik Kabik/

1. A pack of toothpick-legged girls in front of me at the Cosmopolitan's Boulevard Pool are wearing micro-skirts and monster heels. With the wind whipping and temperatures dipping into the “unseasonably-chilly-but-we-won’t-complain-’cause-soon-it-will-be-super-crazy-hot,” their whole huddled mass looks like it might topple over any minute. By the time the show is over people will have snagged pool towels to serve as blankets, and I will have come to a firm conclusion: We’re all big wimps.

Of Monsters and Men @ Cosmopolitan

2. Except, of course, for Icelandic seven-piece Of Monsters and Men. They look downright comfortable cruising through hits like "Little Talks" and "Six Weeks" in front of a sold-out Coachella-week crowd. (Current temperature in Reykjavic, Iceland: 30 degrees.)

3. The band sounds pristine onstage, with shining horns, sweet accordion licks and his-and-her vocals playing nicely for a full, vibrant, studio-quality sound. In fact, Of Monsters and Men sound so clean and polished that the audience seems to be losing interest. When singer Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir asks, “Are you getting pumped up?” The crowd reacts like it's a rhetorical question.

4. “Lakehouse” begins, and as the drums pick up the pool stirs to life. We’re deep into the set, but it feels like everyone’s just waking up. OMAM chucks a pair of teddy bears into the crowd and a kid in a jean jacket lands a pink one. When I catch a glimpse of him five minutes later, he’s still clutching the thing like a prized puppy and singing to its soft, fuzzy face.

5. The charging beat of “Six Weeks” takes over the crowd and suddenly we’re witnessing the show I’d expected to see. The audience is moving, someone’s crowd surfing and the cold seems to have evaporated completely. Yes, Nanna, we are getting pumped up. Sorry it took this long.

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Previous Discussion:

  • “This record has very little insecurity. It was a blast to make, and it’s really fun to play live.”

  • Anyone who discovered COC at the band’s popular height should be satisfied with this effective return to the familiar.

  • Bassist Nate Brenner partners with leader Merrill Garbus for an approachable and dancey record.

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