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Thursday, December 14

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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 »

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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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