Last night I saw Of Monsters and Men in concert for the third time. Interestingly I realized that I’ve seen them for free two of the three times. The first time they were playing a free concert as part of an Icelandic festival in Silver Spring, Maryland. I did actually pay to see them a few years ago last time they were at Merriweather. Last night they were back at Merriweather, but I didn’t have to pay because I won two free lawn tickets from http://www.thisisourjamdc.com/.
I was very excited to win tickets because it assured I was going to go, which I had wanted to do since I saw they were coming back. However my concert schedule for the summer was pretty full. I don’t have that many friends who enjoy the same music I do or are interested to going to that many concerts. Between seeing some shows on my own, dragging my husband, and actually convincing friends to go with me I do get to see a fair amount of the shows I want to see. Although I will go to some venues on my own Merriweather isn’t one where I really want to do that. I don’t mind going to a standing room only show by myself, but sitting outside on the lawn at Merriweather by myself seems very lonely. I have to really want to see a show and have no one else to go with before I’ll force my husband to go, and this show didn’t quite meet that threshold. I do have friends that like Of Monsters and Men, but I’d already seen multiple concerts with them over the summer and they don’t all have as much disposable income to throw at concerts as I do, so I didn’t bother trying to find out if they wanted to go figuring if they did they would let me know. Happily once I won the tickets then I could just offer my friend Lindsey a free ticket, and then she was happy to go with me.
Our free lawn tickets even got a free upgrade to pavilion seats, so it was even better. I guess a lot of people have forgotten about Of Monsters and Men in the two years since they were last at Merriweather. People’s musical memories are short and sadly their second album hasn’t gotten the kind of traction their first album did for whatever reason. I really like it, but even the non-commercial radio stations I listen to didn’t seem to play the first single off of it for very long. At any rate the crowd was pretty sparse, so they invited people with lawn tickets to come in and sit in the pavilion seats.
The opening act was a Danish band called Oh Land. I had never heard of them before, so I was going into their music completely cold for this show. I didn’t hate any of it, but I only actively liked about half of it. Their upbeat songs were fantastic and I would totally listen to those again, but I didn’t care for their slower songs nearly as much.
In my review of their last concert at Merriweather I said I didn’t really feel like I would need to see Of Monsters and Men again in concert until they had new music to play. Their music is fantastic and it’s really fun to hear and see played live, but by now you should know that I want more from a live show than just a band getting up on stage and playing their songs. Of Monsters and Men pretty much just does that, so I’m not rabid about seeing them as much as possible like I am with some acts.
Nevertheless, I was in fact happy to hear them play their new music live. As I said they are just a really fun band to watch play. There’s a whole lot of them on stage. I honestly don’t know anyone’s name or all the instruments that the play nor have I kept track of band members to know if anything has changed. There were 9 people up there last night. I feel like there might have been a few more last time I saw them, but I could be very wrong on that. One of the women who tends to be in the back or off to the side on stage at least the three times I’ve seen them pretty much plays all the instruments. It’s enjoyable to see everything she pulls out. The music itself is just fun to dance to as well, so it’s a lot of fun to be in a crowd with a bunch of people grooving to it.
They played a nice mix of stuff from their newer and older albums. I am also always very intrigued by bands who choose to go against the grain and not save their biggest hits for their encore. I was especially interested in the fact that they ended the concert with a song from their new album and not even the single from it just a random song. I like it. I like a band that doesn’t necessarily do what you expect of them. It was a great show and I’m really glad I got to go.