Concerts

Of Montreal Enlivens Fillmore Miami

Of Montreal's Kevin Barnes makes pop music out of guitars, synths, and anxiety. There's no better example of his melodramatic tendencies than "The Past Is a Grotesque Animal," a track off the band's 2007 album, Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, which catalogs his marital troubles. It's an intoxicating 12-minute descent into madness with the sort of hyperliterate lyrics that leave critics drooling. (He references Story of the Eye, a Georges Bataille novella about the sexual perversions of teenaged lovers.)

If you slowed down his shout-sung lyrics and dropped them into sparser arrangements, you'd have the Magnetic Fields. Consider Stephen Merrittesque lyrics like "Somehow you've red rovered/the Gestapo guarding my heart." But Of Montreal is anything but sparse. It packs in guitar riffs, drum loops, and synths that push Barnes' lyrics forward into a mania that makes audiences delirious.

But when Of Montreal is not sardonically depressed, it can be downright schmaltzy. The band dabbled in self-described "A.D.D. electro cinematic avant-disco" in previous albums like The Sunlandic Twins. In its 2008 album, Skeletal Lamping, Barnes performs as an alter ego named Georgia Fruit, a 40-year-old, post-op African-American man. He claims Fruit was born during the 12 minutes of "The Past Is a Grotesque Animal." We told you it's a magical song.

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Amanda McCorquodale