Concert review: of Montreal brings their psychedelic glitz and funked-out glamour spectacular to The Ritz Ybor, Ybor City (with photos)

Over the course of the next two hours, the crowd was treated to a full-on Saturday night setlist, 18 songs worth of music with a three-song encore tacked onto the end, all of it accompanied by an eyeful of visuals, whether it was the hallucinogenic animations, geometric patterns, special effects-treated video montages and other out-thereness projected onto two giant screens hanging behind [image-1]the band, or a parading array of bizarre characters – pig-headed men and women riding atop the crowd on an inflatable swimming pool boat, performer extras in black-and-white checkered full body suits stage-dancing and crowd-surfing, stumpy brutes with oversized skeleton heads looking like they marched direct from a Tim Burton film onto the Ritz stage, or Barnes himself involved in various bizarre situations, whether it was getting locked in a cage he eventually scaled, riding atop a segmented multi-head cloth caterpillar, or dancing with seductive hip-shaking grooves against the myriad of non-human beings.


There were plenty of highlights; the Prince dance groove of “Like a Tourist,” the random but totally fun UB40 “Here I Am (Baby)” jam sandwiched between “Oslo in the Summertime” and “You Do Mutilate?”; K. Barnes ripping off his shirt and baring his nicely-muscled chest, then donning a net hoodie and tiny striped skirt so short you could see where his purple tights met; the sprays of feathers towards the end and the closing song, “Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse,” a personal favorite and always fun to see live…


One thing I’ve realized after the show was over, having seen of Montreal a half-dozen times and actually getting to talk to Kevin Barnes – the performers in this band take what they do very seriously while at the same time are really able to have fun with it, accepting and embracing the absurdities all while delivering some damn good music. Overall, another show well done.


COMPLETE SETLIST


[image-2]Black Lion Massacre


Coquet Coquette


The Party's Crashing Us


Wraith Pinned to the Mist (and Other Games)


Our Riotous Defects


Plastis Wafer


Like a Tourist


Suffer for Fashion


Oslo in the Summertime


[UB40 “Here I Am (Baby)” Jam]


You Do Mutilate?


Sex Karma


Girl Named Hello


For Our Elegant Caste


Touched Something's Hollow


An Eluardian Instance


Hydra Fancies


Id Engager


She's A Rejecter


Encore:


A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger


Sex Shooter (with Kid Sister) [originally written by Prince for his protégé girl group, Apollonia 6]


Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse


More of Montreal photos by Phil

If there’s one thing I can depend on in my concert-going life, it’s getting my hop-socks rocked off by of Montreal while shifting and moving amidst a circle of similarly dance-ecstatic friends, all of us enjoying plenty of stop-and-awe moments, gazing at the stage with mouths grinning and agape, or loudly singing our favorite lyrics at each other. [All photos by Phil Bardi.]

This past Saturday night brought the usual moments of wonder, heart-bursting adoration and knee-jerk outbursts of “Kevin Barnes is fabulous!” and “Can you fucking believe this?” when of Montreal returned to The Ritz Ybor on their False Priest album tour. In contrast to last year’s more straightforward (between-albums) stop, it was a full-on tripped-out performance art spectacular. In a live setting, of Montreal tends to deliver a more psyche-glam rock-aggressive tone than their pop-polished studio albums suggest, and this tour around, they had the bass turned up to nearly blown-out levels.

The band opened with the noisy blast of “Black Lion Massacre” – a track that didn’t make it onto False Priest but is due to be included on the band’s forthcoming The Controller Sphere EP – and two towering fish-headed, prop shotgun-wielding creatures wearing gas masks and military gear marched onto the stage. Breaking through the pair and making his grand entrance was the master of ceremonies himself, frontman Kevin Barnes, who was dressed like a flamboyant post-modern dandy in a short, frilly-shiny puffy-sleeved purple jacket with polka dot ruffled cravat spilling from his open collar, shimmering headband, smeared red lipstick and Saturday night saucy attitude on full steam ahead as the band launched into the high-drama of “Coquet Coquette.” The show had officially begun.

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