After finishing a 10 page French paper and refusing to look at my notes for my final in two days I decided to go see one of my favorite bands, Of Montreal.
Naturally my friends and I donned some Hawaiian shirts (mine was yellow with the words “Style King”), worked up a little buzz, then trotted down the ever-exciting streets of Chicago’s Boystown. Nothing sets the mood more for the ever-flamboyant festivities of Kevin Barnes than passing by gay bars with half naked men giving lap dances in the window.
We arrive at the Vic, buy our tickets, grab some grub (skipping the opener) then head on in. We politely fight our way to a good-enough view and wait.
The show starts with on screen graphics reminiscent of the movie Office Space followed by the band and “others” running onto the stage. Kevin Barnes appears dressed more like a nine year old girl than a 36 year old married man. Nonetheless I can’t help but find him adorable with his wrist flicks, hand-on-hip gestures and coquettish grins. Their opening song is L’age d’or (which fyi is French for The Golden Age) from the new thecontrollersphere EP. A solid opener but I began to feel a little nervous that they wouldn’t play some of my favorite older songs. My fears were quickly squashed by their upbeat oldies Suffer for Fashion and For Our Elegant Caste.
Here’s the Rest of the Set List:
- L’age d’or
- Suffer for Fashion
- For Our Elegant Caste
- Coquet Coquette
- Oslo in the Summertime
- Sex Karma
- Yip Deceiver
- Flunkt Sass vs. the Root Flume
- Do You Mutilate?
- Grolandic Edit
- My Funny Valentine
- Like a Tourist
- Plastis Wafer
- St. Exquisite’s Confessions
- The Party’s Crashing Us
- Hemingsdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse
- Our Righteous Defects
- Fell in Love with a Girl
- She’s a Rejector
- America the Beautiful
Now I could talk about the awesome bass lines, my slight disappointment with the strength of Barnes’ vocals and my extreme sadness that Solange Knowles wasn’t there for Sex Karma, but I won’t. People see Of Montreal, to actually see them. Just by looking at the glam-rock crowd of men dressed as fairies and a few girls clearly rolling on e, one can tell that Of Montreal is more than a concert, it’s an experience. From the fat suits, to the fighting pigs this show was through and through fun.
Three Barnes outfit changes later and the Encore was ready to not disappoint. What started as a slight Barnes’ strip tease–to which my friend continued to shout, “Naked!”–ended in a full out Nacho Libre type wrestling match with actors and band mates launching into the crowd. Barnes was the last to leap into the glittery audience. While I ducked in fear, others sprung their hands in the air, I could hear over joyous shouts of, “I touched his thigh!” and “I just saw his nuts!” I don’t think I’ve ever smiled as much at a concert–whether it was the pure joyride Of Montreal provided or the over-medicated girl continuously falling on my friend I don’t know, but I will definitely spend another $26 on the best drug-free high of my life.