Photo by Ian Witlen Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes at the Fillmore Miami Beach.
Friday, April 9, 2010
The Filmore, Miami Beach
Of Montreal took over the stage at the Filmore on Saturday, putting on a whimsical and musically captivating performance. Opening with "For Our Elegant Castle," Kevin Barnes clad in what appeared to be Never Nude-approved cut-off shorts, took command of the slightly empty theater. As an avid fan I was eager to see what they had in store for the night. However the stage seemed somewhat empty, lacking props and the usual decoration I have come to expect from such a theatrical band.
Musically I was, however, impressed with the new direction they showed. Moving away from their psychedelic-fantastical sound of past albums, and toward a heavier use of guitar. Barnes not only wailed in his high-pitched voice, however this time it was placed over a rock background with only hints of their quirky sound. As a long time listener I felt this was a great sign of coming changes in future albums. The older songs they did play, such as "Lysergic Bliss," were explosive and exciting. The set list however over all was broken up with inconsistent tempos, packed with newer material, and honestly, they did not play any of my favorite songs.
As the night wore one I began to look around and realize that I felt
entirely out of place, and yet I have counted them in my top three
favorite bands for more than half a decade. But as I realized I was
surrounded by high schoolers who dressed better than me, guys who looked
like they lived at the gym, and Marilyn Manson lookalikes, I thought
about how much they band had changed just since their last show in South
Florida. I also pondered if this would be the last time I would
actually want to see them.
Trying to redirect my energy and just enjoy the show, I turned my
attention to the ever-changing stage show for which Of Montreal is so popular.
Kevin Barnes seemed to act a narrator to a symbolic play happening on
stage. Naked women and men eating apples out of each other's hands,
while a cartoon of a cock (rooster) and a priest flashed on the
projection screen. Barnes danced around like an androgynous indie diva,
while a man who wore a penis cover that made him look like a Ken-doll
stood in front of a floral projection. Over all, I was more impressed
when he came naked out of shaving cream at Langerado 2008. But this show
was a very visual and venue appropriate -- it is a theater after all.
The closed the show with a cover of "I Want You Back" by the Jackson 5,
which to be blunt, sucked. I left the show feeling disillusioned and
Personal Bias: I have seen Of Montreal more than four times, and own
every single album, so I guess I could be referred to as a "super fan."
Random Detail: Most people at the show were wearing shoes that look like
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they were made in 1900. Ugly.
By the Way: Poplife's Aramis Lorie DJed after the opener, and he was
better than James Husband by a long shot.
-- Whitney Roux