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Transmission
« All Pitchfork's Parties SXSW Tour Diary - Office's Day Three »

Review Fri Mar 16 2007

Show Review: Walter Meego, Of Montreal @ Metro, Thurs. March 15

Yet another wave of spring giddiness swept through Chicago last night and this time it wasn't about the weather. For a packed, sold out Metro, Athens GA's very own Of Montreal did what they do best: partied like it was 1969. But before the rowdy mass of Kevin Barnes-lovers could get their fix, local boys Walter Meego spun a few. Turntablist/laptopper Colin Yarck served the house some fresh beats while Justin Sconza meshed his guitar and synth play with emotive rave-up vocals and guitarist Andrew Bernhardt overlaid it all with squalling feedback. It was loud and intense and the audience response was as you'd think it would be for a dance-rock opener: dancing, screaming, and mingling. Dancefloor hit "Hollywood" and the more laidback "Through a Keyhole" highlighted the brief, but thumping, set.

After a long stage set-up, show poet laureate Thax Douglas came out on stage, accompanied by an Of Montreal rodie dressed in a black and gold Darth Vader suit, and read his "Of Montreal #3" which mentioned both paramecium cilia and dancefloor bimbos. Quite the perfect intro for Kevin Barnes. As expected, the whole crew's decour was a costume shop owner's wet dream: silk Japanese wear, over-sized Sgt. Pepper's-ish military dresses, and Rockette ruffled skirts were the norm, to say the least. Barnes himself went through three wardrobe changes throughout the set, consistently removing layers until his final getup was some kind of Baroque onesie. Musically, the set opened poorly as low sound quality made opener "Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse" underwhelming to say the least. But things had a lot of time to get better as, including the encore, the entire show covered roughly 20 songs spanning the entire Of Montreal oeuvre, which is a lot of space for a band that's been putting out records for 10 years. Favorite moments included: Barnes mounting a decorative ladder to take on the guise of a giant crooner for "Gronlandic Edit," a Norwegian flag prop malfunction as keyboardist Dottie Alexander tried to pass it off to the crowd during a pro-Scandanavian tune, the surpising crowd sing-a-long to "Bunny Ain't no Kind of Rider," and the shocked then delighted face of bassist Matt Dawson as he realized the projectiles from the audience that almost hit him at one point in the show were, in fact, two bras. This last moment, coupled with the man and woman-handling Barnes got every time he neared the edge of the stage, definitely drove home the point that Of Montreal are at a point where they seemingly can't miss. Even the ridiculously long and self-involved drone dance of "The Past is a Grotesque Animal" kept the crowd's attention and participation. After 10 years, it seems Barnes and his Sgt. Peppers ensemble have finally reached the status of rock gods.

 
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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »

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