If theres one thing I can depend on in my concert-going life, its 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 years 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 didnt make it onto False Priest but is due to be included on the bands 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.