As the full moon crept into the night sky, the fields of Surly Brewing Company filled with folks gathering not to view the moon, but rather witness the members of Of Monsters and Men play songs on the breweries stage.
The barrels were tapped into around 7 o’clock as Baltimore based dream-pop band, Lower Dens walked on stage. The group began making politically-charged pop music back in 2010 and has been rising in the charts since with four full-length albums under their belt. Their latest release, “The Competition” made up most of their seven-song set. The band navigated these songs filled with themes of past mistakes, broken establishments, and hopeful futures with ease and sophistication. After viewing their set, I would argue It was no surprise the group was chosen to open for the award-winning headliner of the night.It took some time for the stage to transition from the opener to the headliner but the crowd at Surly did not seem to have much care. The brewery made sure to stock it’s field with food trucks for all appetites and a variety of beer. The entrance was still full of people hoping to find a good spot in the growing crowd. Finally, the crowd received what they had come here to see. Of Monsters and Men filled the stage with their six members all taking their respected place.
The band has just released their first album in four years and seemed eager to play their new material. They opened their set with a fiery rendition of new song “Under a Dome” before breaking into material of the past. Old favorites such as “Little Talks,” “King and Lionheart,” and “Dirty Paws” all made their way into the set. There wasn’t much time in between these songs dedicated to interacting with the crowd but that seemed to be alright with most people who were simply wanting the dancing and singing along to continue.
Lead singers Nanna Bryndis Hilmarsdottir and Ragnar Porhallsson worked wonderfully together exchanging melodies and verses. Their harmonizations tell of a band who have grown close together over the nine years they’ve been playing. Their strengths shown the brightest with the playing of the chart-topping song “Little Talks.” In this song the pair exchange verses while telling the tale of a fragile relationship. Nothing about the pair seemed to be fragile though, so I think it’s safe to assume the song isn’t about themselves as a duo.
Their main set closed after fourteen songs with the single of their new album, “Alligator.” After this, the band took a few minutes to recuperate before returning to play three more songs. The night ended with a drawn-out version “Yellow Light.” After this, the band thanked the crowd and made their way off stage leaving the audience with only the full moon and memory of what had just passed to give reasoning towards another beer.