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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Concert Mon Apr 02 2012

Review: Of Monsters and Men @ Park West, 3/30/12

The first time I heard the Icelandic band Of Monsters and Men, it was instant love. They are not a band you have to listen to over and over to "get;" Of Monsters and Men are a solid septet of Icelanders supplying memorable melodies, thoughtful lyrics and general good vibes. Looking over the sold-out, packed-in crowd at Park West on Friday night, I got the sense that Of Monsters and Men has that effect on a wide range of people.

From hoodies to button-ups to flannels, the social genres blended together in the standing room only space at Park West. The band gave enough beat and energy for an occasional fist pump and enough pensive lyrics for a romantic sway or two.

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Of Monsters and Men at the Park West (photos by Steve Stearns)

But beyond playing to please the crowd the band seemed to have a natural smooth warm vibe to them like they were just hanging out playing in your living room. All six members seemed to take equal weight and presence on the stage, like a natural egalitarian community of musicians each giving energy to make the music happen. Maybe that is a cool Icelandic thing.

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Of Monsters and Men at the Park West (photos by Steve Stearns)

Cool indeed. As an encore, the band covered The Cure's "Close To Me." They definitely have a cool factor in addition to their chill indie vibe.

Despite their clear coolness and increasing popularity, the band seems to still be a little awe struck in the middle of their first, as they said on stage, "real" tour. During their single "Little Talks," fans were singing, and some screaming, the lyrics; vocalist Nana seemed to shake her head slightly in disbelief and laugh at Chicago fans eagerness. Their popularity in the US might still be a novelty to them, but as long as the trend towards great, homegrown, indie music continues, Of Monsters and Men should expect a lot more fans to be screaming their lyrics.

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Of Monsters and Men at the Park West (photos by Steve Stearns)

According to Nanna the band's trip to Chicago this time around was regrettably short. "We got hot dogs and went to the pharmacy but I hear there is more to Chicago. We will be back." It was a statement met with enthusiastic cheers.

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Of Monsters and Men at the Park West (photos by Steve Stearns)

Of Monsters and Men first full-length album My Head is an Animal is set to be released in the U.S. on Tuesday, April 3, 2012.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

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