Thursday, June 10, 2010

Concert Review: Of Montreal @ Cats Cradle 6/2/10

Two hours before the doors opened at Carrboro's infamous Cats Cradle a line of people started to form. The only reason I was there that early was so that I could meet some friends and eat at Carrburrito and then go get a few pints at Milltown before the show.  As I looked at the already forming line I noticed a common theme: sequins and costumes.  I also poked my head around the cradle and found two mannequin heads that had undergone some grotesque surgery in which the head could be separated as if someone was going to eat there mannequin brains. The stench of these heads made my eyes water, no no they weren't foul smelling but the amount of glue and paint fumes was enough to make me turn around and wonder at what point they would be used in the show... After all this is an Of Montreal concert.

I wasn't expecting anything from the Athens, Georgia based band because they are known to completely defy expectations. We are talking about the same band in which Kevin Barnes got completely naked and came up on stage riding a white steed. How in the world would you expect that?

I have previously seen Of Montreal before but that was in the early 2000's and it was at Duke University during the day. The setlist was filled with selections from the Gay Parade and toyed with songs from Santanic Panic. I knew that this show would be completely different and probably more dance-y due to the venue and the last albums that have been put out.

To prepare for this event, I needed to get into some proper attire...i.e. a sweet 80's brightly colored jumpsuit, complete with an array of colorful accessories. But my puny outfit could not compare to the elaborate costumes and theatrics that would be stimulating my eyes in the few short minutes that I waited.

At this point it is hard to effectively describe what happened... I guess you could describe it as being immersed in a theatrical performance where dancing is required. When Of Montreal came on stage they opened with "Rapture Rapes The Muses" and the place went nuts and progressively built upon that energy. The onstage theatrics combined with lights, videos, music and a sold-out audience created a crazy dream like quality. Some of the theatrics included a duel with a three person marionette in which Kevin Barnes would stab the heads and they would progressively wither and die. Seen below:

Another amazing thing that happened at this show was the introduction, battle, and destruction of HAM, a crazy pig-humanoid that was trying to convince the crowd that he was superior... So what does Kevin do? Well what do you think he does? He steals Ham's Girlfriend and craziness and the battle begins!!! As Seen Below:

However, the real crowd-pleaser would have to be the massive amounts of feathers and glitter that was dumped upon the audience. I came home looking like some sort of space chicken that had gone through some tough battle. Sweaty, colorful, glistening (with glitter not any of that twilight glistening) and of course covered in feathers. I am glad that KARonXTC has posted all of these videos so that you all can try to experience what we all had the pleasure of experienceing.  KARonXTC's feather video below shows the crazy.

But enough about the visuals, it was the music that you want to know about right?
Well, this wasn't like the gay parade at all... it was a very different Of Montreal but it was still amazing. The setlist was stacked with fantastic songs and the place never stopped moving. Almost all of the favorites were played including "She's A Rejector" as the finale. Also, Of Montreal is also known to be a band that loves to cover songs. They covered David Bowie's "Suffragette City" and honestly it was probably the closest thing I will ever come to seeing David Bowie. They hit everything right on and once again proved that they are an extremely versatile group, able to master more than just one genre of music.

I came across this amazing website a couple of months ago and I have been wanting to do a post on Of Montreal covers and feature it, but I never got around to writing about it. The kind people over at You Ain't No Picasso featured a huge list of downloadable good quality covers that I have been listening to for the past three months.  Check it out!

The only problem I had with the show was that I feel like it could have been a little bit longer. It was a great show but we got out of the Cradle at around 11:30 meaning the band played a little over an hour long. But honestly, if that is the only complaint I have about a concert you know that it was good.

Here is the setlist:

    1. Rapture Rapes The Muses
    2. The Party's Crashing Us 
    3. Id Engager 
    4. Wraith Pinned to the Mist (And Other Games) 
    5. Suffer For Fashion 
    6. Bunny Ain't No Kind Of Rider 
    7. Triphallus, To Punctuate! 
    8. Plastis Wafers
    9. St. Exquisite's Confessions 
    10. For Our Elegant Caste
    11. Coquet Coquet 
    12. Beware Our Nubile Miscreants
    13. Faberge Falls for Shuggie
    14. Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse
    15. A Sentence Of Sorts In Kongsvinger 
    16. Encore:
    17. Suffragette City ( David Bowie cover) 
    18. She's A Rejector 
Oh and here are some songs that might tickle your fancy!

Of Montreal - The Party's Crashing Us
Of Montreal - Suffragette City (David Bowie cover) (Live)


(more pictures will be up soon)

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