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Review Sun May 08 2011

Review: Of Montreal @ The Vic

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Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes (photos by Rory O'Connor)

For anyone that's ever seen Of Montreal perform before the typical questions when seeing this band the next time aren't "Will they play a good set?" or "What will the encore song be?" The questions on return customers minds are probably more along the lines of "What types of circus-like antics will Of Montreal bring to the stage this time?" and "How many wardrobe changes will lead singer Kevin Barnes incorporate into his performance?"

Three. That's the answer to the later question in regards to Thursday night's show at The Vic. Of Montreal strive to be more than just bodies on a stage, strumming guitars and plunking keys on a keyboard. Every song is a theatrical production for this band and attending one of their concerts is akin to taking a psychedelic journey into the minds of Barnes and his bandmates. Thursday night's musical voyage was accompanied by an eight-piece band, two giant video screens serving up tasty neon images, and fat suits. For real.

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Of Montreal (photos by Rory O'Connor)

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Of Montreal (photos by Rory O'Connor)

Dramatic organ sounds welcomed the band onstage where they immediately broke into the seductive "L'age D'or" off the band's recent EP thecontrollersphere. The band proceeded to groove its way through an almost entirely upbeat set culminating in the unmistakable bass line that carries "Gronlandic Edit." Or perhaps the climax was the final match between a reoccurring clan of men donned in spandex onesies and Mexican wrestling masks. The wrestlers were only a part of the cast of characters that joined Of Montreal on stage at Thursday night's show.

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Of Montreal (photos by Rory O'Connor)

Clearly when Of Montreal practices before going on tour, there's more than music to be rehearsed. Barnes is constantly breaking away from the mic to join the onstage dramatics of pigs, nude women and some type of monster armed with a prosthetic lobster claw.

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Of Montreal (photos by Rory O'Connor)

The lights, the sights and the music made the 90-minute set breeze by Thursday night and still left fans begging for more. Of Montreal want to take fans above and beyond the typical concert experience, both visually and sonically. They attempt to create live sounds most bands would rather rely on loops and pre-recorded material for. Then they add another layer to the psych-pop sounds by daring their onstage actors to produce soundless narratives. This band doesn't go on stage simply to play songs, they're out to create soundtracks.

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Of Montreal (photos by Rory O'Connor)

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Kirstie / May 8, 2011 10:48 PM

I'm really glad you shot this, Rory! These are some amazing shots, esp. the crowd surfing one!

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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 »


  Chicago Music Media

Alarm Magazine
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Boxx Magazine
Brooklyn Vegan Chicago
Can You See The Sunset From The Southside
Chicago Reader Music
Chicagoist Arts & Events
Chicago Music Guide
Chicago Singles Club
Country Music Chicago
Cream Team
Dark Jive
The Deli Chicago
Jim DeRogatis
Fake Shore Drive
Gowhere Hip Hop
The Hood Internet
Jaded in Chicago
Largehearted Boy
Little White Earbuds
Live Fix Blog
Live Music Blog
Loud Loop Press
Oh My Rockness
Pop 'stache
Pop Matters
Resident Advisor
Sound Opinions
Sun-Times Music Blog
Theft Liable to Prosecution
Tribune Music
UR Chicago
Victim Of Time
WFMU's Beware of the Blog
Windy City Rock


Abbey Pub
Andy's Jazz Club
Aragon Ballroom
Auditorium Theatre
Beat Kitchen
Bottom Lounge
Buddy Guy's Legends
The Burlington
California Clipper
Concord Music Hall
Congress Theater
Cubby Bear
Double Door
Elbo Room
Empty Bottle
Green Mill
The Hideout
Honky Tonk BBQ
House of Blues
Kingston Mines
Lincoln Hall
Logan Square Auditorium
Mayne Stage
The Mutiny
Old Town School of Folk Music
Park West
The Promontory
Red Line Tap
Reggie's Rock Club & Music Joint
The Riviera
Thalia Hall
The Shrine
Symphony Center
Tonic Room
Uncommon Ground
The Vic
The Whistler

  Labels, Promoters
  & Shops:

Alligator Records
Beverly Records
Bloodshot Records
Dave's Records
Delmark Records
Drag City
Dusty Groove
Flameshovel Records
Groove Distribution
He Who Corrupts
Jam Productions
Jazz Record Mart
Kranky Records
Laurie's Planet of Sound
Minty Fresh
Numero Group
mP Shows
Permanent Records
Reckless Records
Smog Veil Records
Southport & Northport Records
Thick Records
Thrill Jockey Records Touch & Go/Quarterstick Records
Victory Records

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Transmission is the music section of Gapers Block. It aims to highlight Chicago music in its many varied forms, as well as cover touring acts performing in the city. More...
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