Although Of Montreal’s new album Lousy With Sylvianbriar finds the Elephant 6 graduates getting back to basics — which is to be expected of any group after 17 years and 11 albums of sonic exploration — last night’s show at Union Transfer was anything but predictable. After taking the stage, frontman Kevin Barnes politely greeted his adoring audience with a raise of his hand. He wore an unsurprisingly flamboyant outfit that consisted of a loud, tailored two-piece suit covered in a pattern of yellow leopard and green tiger faces, as well as black leather boots.
It was only a matter of seconds before Barnes would live up to his eccentric outfit. Grabbing his microphone, he knelt down in front of a concertgoer, took her hand, and sensually serenaded her with the opening line of “Triumph of Disintegration:” “The last ten days have been a motherfucker.” After the serenade, the six-piece band sprang into action, smiling and dancing along with each other. Of Montreal may be constantly be changing sonic styles, but the high energy levels of their live show remains the same. The frenetic 18-song set featured a few songs from the new album, older classics from Skeletal Lamping, The Sunlandic Twins, Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer and a new, unreleased song called “Estocada.” The band mixed up their signature indie-pop melodies with funky-feel-good vibes that wouldn’t have been out of place at a Prince concert.
As per usual, the show was a treat for the eyes. There were dancers dressed in ghastly season-appropriate masks and decked out in inflatable white bodysuits that served as screens for projected displays of colorful psychedelic visuals. At one point, Barnes quickly exited the stage only to re-enter on the shoulders of a dancer, occupying the top half of a multi-person costume that resembled a giant butterfly. The delightful theatrics seemed to be a mixture of the choreographed and spontaneous. At one point, Barnes went around feeling up the faces of his fellow band mates and audience members alike. No one seemed to mind. They closed with a group sing-along, with Barnes teaching the audience how to sing the bass line for “Gronlandic Edit,” one of their most popular songs. Finishing out the night with “She’s A Rejecter,” Of Montreal managed to leave everyone feeling indefinitely euphoric. — MARY LYNN DOMINGUEZ
Triumph Of Disintegratio
For Our Elegant Caste
She Ain’t Speakin’ Now
Wraith Pinned To The Mist (And Other Games)
Raindrop In My Skull
Requiem for O.M.M. 2
And I’ve Seen A Bloody Shadow
Oslo In The Summertime
Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse
She’s A Rejecter