My only gripe about the of Montreal show this last Friday at Union Transfer is that it was last Friday, instead of tonight, Halloween. With the costumed creatures running across stage, Kevin Barnes’ outrageous garb, and the overall carnivalesque nature of the night, of Montreal’s bizarre theatrics are perfectly suited for a celebration of the superstitious.
One of the things that makes of Montreal so much fun to see live, aside from their entertaining eccentricity, is to witness Kevin Barnes interact with his fans. Instead of merely saying , “I really appreciate all of your support,” he actually shows his appreciation for his fans’ support.
Barnes kicked off the night by crawling to the end of the stage, reaching his long lean body into the crowd, and singling out a lucky lady from the audience. As he serenaded this lucky lady, he stared into her eyes, groped her face, and eventually kissed her on the forehead. Even though I was standing only a few feet away from the tryst, and got to see things up close and personal, it wasn’t my favorite part of the night.
We were treated to a number of visual spectacles, and we saw things like dancing owls, a human-sized fly, Barnes leaving the stage for a hot minute, only to come back on top of a dancer’s shoulders, dressed as what appeared to be a huge white butterfly. But the best visual spectacle of all wasn’t even on stage. It was a girl who was dancing in the front row.
This girl had to be of Montreal’s number one fan. Like, in all of ever. She danced throughout the entire hour-and-a-half long set, only stopping twice. I really wish there was a way to describe the girl’s dance style, but there was no style. Only dancing.
The first time she stopped was to take off that cumbersome thing otherwise known as a shirt. It’s true, you can move more freely in just a sports bra. The second time was when Kevin Barnes leaned down from the stage to hold her hand. She completely froze. She was so excited that she didn’t know what to do with herself. It was pretty amazing to witness.
Just like of Montreal’s music live.
About half of the songs from Friday’s set were off the band’s latest album, Lousy With Sylvanbriar. The other half were an assortment, the majority from Skeletal Lamping, The Sunlandic Twins, and Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?
The ever-morphing and highly prolific band even featured a new song named “Estocada.” By “new” I don’t mean it’s on Lousy With Sylvanbriar, which was only released a few weeks ago. (October 8th on Polyvinyl Records). By “new,” I mean it’ll be on their next (thirteenth) album.
Of Montreal closed the night with an encore consisting of two songs, “Gronlandic Edit” and “She’s a Rejector.” Both are funky, fun danceable diddies. The musical highlight of the night, however, occurred during the middle of the set, when of Montreal performed “Wraith Pinned to the Mist (And Other Games).” This song is a piece of indie-pop perfection.
And that, coupled with its lyrics “Let’s have bizarre celebrations,” tells you everything you need to know about going to an of Montreal show.