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Friday, February 5, 2010

An Experience Only Of Montreal Could Give Us

Wow... Last night's show was just about the wildest show EVER! Of Montreal reigns supreme as far as the all-encompassing downtown experience goes. I'm covered in sweat, beer, and feathers, yet I feel awesome! I don't believe I've seen a band or their fans more crazy or more enthused. Since the moment several of my friends from other cities and countries learned that I write a blog about local music, they've been begging me to see Of Montreal. Boy, am I glad I listened to them! They are the pure embodiment of the senses, capturing the attention of every member of the crowd. Just recently, I wrote a whole blog entry about the importance of antics, and I can truly tell you, I've never seen any quite so memorable as theirs. Their antics are legendary!

Before Of Montreal engulfed us with sound, James Huggins, one of the band's masters of the instrument, graced the stage as "James Husband" with several recognizable band members from the headliner itself. Their sound, while calmer and much more relaxed than Of Montreal's, still retains elements of the striking, distinctive style that the band has become known for. And, I've got to say, the gigantic screens that surrounded the band onstage made the performance incredibly visually delicious! Bright colors and scenes wafted across them slowly, in time with the music. My favorite part of this set, though, had to be the way the bass tones traveled across the floor and through my body to rattle my heart in my chest several times. I could feel the beat in every corner of my being. Undeniably, I love that feeling!

After the set came to an end, the audience waited, packed together like a wildly eager container of sardines. Indeed, by the time Of Montreal's crew began setting up for the band, the crowd had mysteriously multiplied to cover every inch of the 40 Watt floor. Unbelievable! I've been to some well-attended shows at the Watt in the past, but nothing prepared me for the sea of fans that flooded the floor for this set. And then, a cheer rose up from the audience. It was beginning...

Now, I've heard a lot of tidbits about Of Montreal's costumes and the general insanity that pervades their shows, but WHOA! Their entrance said it all really. A tiger, several pigs, and a veritable zoo of other creatures pranced onstage, growling and squealing as a tune erupted among them. The animals moved stealthily about, one by one switching off with other members of the band including lead singer Kevin Barnes. What a sight! Once the full band appeared before us, some of them cross-dressed, others in an array of wonderfully eye-catching outfits, the background music burst into one of their well-known tunes. Balloons flew through the air over the audience and, immediately, like a whirlpool just above a drain, a small mosh pit formed in the center of the massive crowd. Everything was wild! Their psychedelic, indie rock sound dominated the room, unique in its every aspect. The screens lit up once more with swirling colors, cartoons, and live video close ups of the band itself. And the antics! Oh, the antics. Men and women dressed in everything from their skivvies to sequined black body suits to even Santa and chicken costumes, leapt onstage at unexpected intervals to complete the unbelievable sight. Being there felt purely out of this world!

As the set progressed, the antics became even more insane. Pigs threw spaghetti at members of the crowd. A man dressed as a priest got beaten up by a man in pajames. Near the end of the set, a woman dressed as a pregnant lady was thrust into the air, legs spread wide, as a pipe full of soft, white feathers exploded onto the audience. No one was left uncovered! Someone behind me got so excited, he doused my friends and I with beer as the feathers continued to fall. Hell, I thought even that was part of the show. At that point, I think nothing could have surprised me. And then, it ended... or so I thought until they came back onstage. Encores were called in a steady stream, giving the set almost as many endings as the last Lord of the Rings movie. Their biggest hit Wrath Pinned to the Mist and Other Games, best known for its incorporation into the Outback Steakhouse commercials, greeted us in the first encore which gave a surge of even more energy to the listeners. The crazy dancing reached new heights during this song and continued through a song about friendship and a final tune, a cover of a Jackson Five favorite.

Honestly, Of Montreal left me nearly speechless. Holy spectacular platypus, I have never seen anything like this in my entire life! The band is, purely and simply, a whole body experience. Absolutely and completely unforgettable.


  1. Sup Echo. Forgot you had this blog! Good to see you've seen of Montreal now!! Stop by the ol' Henge (when it's back up hurrr) sometime :)

  2. sorry about spilling the beer on you~~~ awesome review of unbelievable show. you captured it.