Chicago – I love Of Montreal. I’ve been smitten ever since one of my high school friends showed me the song names of The Early Four Track Recordings that tell the story of Dustin Hoffman taking a bath and ultimately consuming the tub (which in true Of Montreal fashion, has no bearing whatsoever on the content of the songs themselves). They occupy a good portion of my music library and in my opinion Kevin Barnes is a musical genius who has creativity oozing out of his ears. That being said, I’ve seen Of Montreal twice in concert now and I have two words to sum up the live experience: magically disappointing.
There’s so much potential – there’s no end to amazing stand-alone Of Montreal pieces: Gronlandic Edit, Wraith pinned to the Mist and Other Games, Suffer for Fashion, Tim wish you were born a girl, No conclusion, When a Man is in Love with a Man – I could go on for a good while. Yet both times I’ve been to see Of Montreal, they’ve played only two pieces that the audience seems to know and is able to get excited about, and the rest of the set is fine, but the psychedelic-pop melds together without much distinction between songs, leaving, at least me, with a blah feeling by the end. The onstage visual doesn’t really help – actors wearing wrestling suits/sheets/pig masks/body suits wander the stage and seem to be as lost as to why they are there as the audience is.
As much as it breaks my heart to say it, I think this is my last Of Montreal concert – they’ll probably always occupy a good chunk of my music library, but there are too many amazing acts out there to give third chances.
*image is from Primavera, not Chicago show