In concert, Of Montreal plays it straight with their music. Everything else? Well . . . that gets kind of strange.
Last night at the 9:30 Club, the Athens-based band brought its eclectic brand of psychedelic dance music to the stage along with three giant projection screens, a rotating centerpiece, four dancer/actors, and enough costume changes to warrant the production of a play.
Kevin Barnes, the lead singer and mastermind behind Of Montreal, was carried onto the stage in a large golden-screened square carried by four dancers clad in matching puffy, gold body suits. Like David Bowie’s stage persona, Ziggy Stardust, much of the concert centered around Barnes’s glam-rock alter ego, Georgie Fruit. The album Skeletal Lamping, to be released October 21, is based around the character: a cross-dressing ex-con from the 1970s funk band Arousal.
When Fruit wasn’t busy being painted red by stagehands or lathered in whipped cream, Barnes emerged and pleased fans with Of Montreal staples like “Disconnect the Dots,” “So Begins Our Alabee,” and “Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games.” Fan favorites were sprinkled throughout the two-hour extravaganza, often transforming rapt audience members into bouncing jackrabbits.
The set-closing “A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger” and two encores, “Gronlandic Edit” and “Requiem for O.M.M. 2,” were the highlights of the show as music finally took precedence over the excessive stage theatrics—although it proved hard to ignore the dancing goat and giraffe.