Friday night, I got to experience one of LA’s coolest little secrets as far as intimate venues go — the GRAMMY Museum. I got to do so seeing one of my favorite bands, Icelandic folk heroes Of Monsters and Men.
The Clive Davis Theater is on the second floor of the amazing state-of-the-art facility in the LA LIVE part of DTLA. They call this concert series The Drop, and it features an in-depth conversation followed by a brief live performance. Conducting the interview was Scott Goldman, and though all members of the band sat for it, chief songwriters Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir and Ragnar “Raggi” Þórhallsson answered most of the questions.
It had been more than four years since Of Monsters and Men released their sophomore record Beneath the Skin. I remember seeing them do an album-release show of sorts at the iHeartRadio Theater in support of that one. Their latest record Fever Dream saw them take a bit of a new approach, as the band detailed in the interview. They worked on things separately before coming together to record the record. The album dropped at the end of the month via Republic Records, who signed them and helped them break out into an international touring act.
They spoke of loving The National, with Nanna especially interested in the idea of collaboration with them in the future. They told the audience the album name came from the lyrics of lead single “Alligator”, a song where Nanna shouts “I’m fever dreamin’!”
Their brief four-song set included two cuts from the latest album, “Alligator” and “Wild Roses”. They closed things out with their massive hit “Little Talks”, albeit with a stripped-back slowed-tempo approach. It was cool to see all of these songs performed this way, you could focus more on the piano and instrumentation in general.
The GRAMMY Museum always has a packed calendar. You can check out upcoming events here, including a Local Natives set on Aug. 26 and Avril Lavigne on Sept. 5.
Photos by Enoch Chuang