The first words out of Guy Garvey’s mouth suggest that something’s changed. “And I don’t know Jesus anymore,” he declares over the grimy guitar riff and glitchy stop-start rhythms of Dexter & Sinister. “How do you keep your eyes ablaze, In these faith-free, hope-free, charity-free days?” the Elbow singer asks.
Of Monsters And Men are about so much more than songs with irresistible “la-la-la” choruses, impossibly sunny melodies, kooky lyrics about pet dragonflies and talking trees, and sudden jubilant outbursts of “hey!”. Of Monsters And Men are about spreading joy.
For 90 minutes, the Icelandic band cast their spell over the masses packed into a sold-out Eventim Apollo, resulting in almost involuntary behaviours: mass singalongs, synchronised clapping, arms-raised sway-dancing, and 5,000 voices shouting “hey!” as one.
Sonic Temple isn’t just The Cult’s highest-charting album (#3 in the UK, #10 in the US). It’s the one that gave them three bonafide Top 40 hits that they still play almost every night.
It’s the one that saw them double down on the all-out rock approach of predecessor Electric and (with titles like New York City and American Horse) take a big swing at the American market. It’s the one that convinced Metallica to hire producer Bob Rock.
London’s Hammersmith Apollo isn’t what you’d call intimate. And yet Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder makes the 3,600-seater venue feel like a living room, or a cosy campfire singalong. And it’s not just because he’s surrounded by a vintage radio, reel-to-reel tape player, battered suitcases (complete with The Who sticker), various old-timey speakers, assorted instruments, and, later, an actual campfire complete with starry sky backdrop.