Monday, December 10, 2012

Show review: of Montreal, Wild Belle, Foxygen at Metro, 12/9

By Andrew Hertzberg

Of Montreal
Foxygen is the best band I’ve seen only the very end of a set performed by twice in one day. I was late to the Saki show Sunday but caught the second half of "No Destruction." And later at the Metro, I caught "San Fran" and "On Blue Mountain," all tracks from the forthcoming We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace and Magic. The kids are young, but they have potential. A little sloppy live, but not entirely a destructive group. Very clearly into the rock’n’roll heroes as opposed to keeping up with modern trends. The Who, Modern Lovers, Ziggy Stardust, they love ‘em all. Singer Sam France’s charisma makes up for his shaky voice. They’re more style over substance. This isn’t to say they entirely lack substance. Give ‘em time to figure out how weird they can get. Perhaps they can get up to of Montreal’s status. One day. Foxygen's back in Chicago March 7th at Lincoln Hall opening for Unknown Mortal Orchestra.

Locals Wild Belle took the stage next. It wasn’t particularly my thing, but I’m liking it more the more I listen to at home. Psychedelic pop with a reggae inflection. The bass sax is a hit too. Singer Natalie Bergman backed by all dudes reminded me a bit of Lykke Li, but not quite as dark. Catch ‘em next January 17th at Lincoln Hall as part of the Tomorrow Never Knows festival.

Oh well. Owl eyes on umbrellas. Owl vs. mouse + fly. White balloons thrown through the crowd. Kevin: green blouse, green cutoffs, red leggings, green boots, swoop haircut, black SG. Victorian dancers in gas masks. Skulls. Hippie imagery + colors. Hypersexual, orgasmic, falsetto yelps. Seductively unbuttons shirt. BP Helium crowdsurfing while soloing. Very Diana Ross. Sleeveless rainbow-colored knit-top. Sensory overload. Fragmented. “I’m in a crisis.” Feather guns. Cartoon portrait of Morgan Freeman spinning on the projection. “The past is a grotesque animal.” Sad albino pig. Big fake tits. Benny Hill. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Siamese clowns (terrifying). Full-bodied American flag suited superhero.

The preceding was a combination of words I jotted down during the of Montreal show. It’s really the only way to describe the experience. It may read like a series of Horse ebooks tweets, but trying to describe the surreal experience of an of Montreal show (because it really is a show) is next to impossible in any sort of conventional narrative; there are not only actors carrying out a specific choreography (often in costume) and bizarre imagery on multiple ADHD fueled projections, but on top of that keeping in mind the complexity of the songs themselves, Kevin Barnes’ fantastic vocal range and flamboyant stage presence. If you don’t know by now, of Montreal is a band you *need* to see live. Need. Even if you’re not the biggest fan of their recordings, they’re a must. Surprisingly, the set focused on their brilliant 2007 release Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? with no tracks from this year’s Paralytic Stalks.

Of Montreal just completed a Kickstarter for a feature-length documentary, but if you still feel like contributing, it’s open until 1:24 EST on Wednesday.

Suffer for Fashion
Sink the Seine
Oslo in the Summertime
Beware Our Nubile Miscreants
For Our Elegant Caste
Micro University
She’s a Rejecter
Enemy Gene
Plastis Wafers
St. Exquisite’s Confessions
Hydra Fancies
Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse
The Past is a Grotesque Animal

Id Engager
Grolandic Edit
A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger

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