I went to see the best Broadway musical happening last night in the city. Of Montreal was in charge of the music, and Kevin Barnes, his brother David, his wife Nina, ninjas, and buddhas, were in charge of the theatricality. There's not much of 2008 left, so I might as well say it now: Of Montreal @ Roseland Ballroom might have been be the best spectacle I've seen this busy 2008 (and I just got home after seeing Madonna at MSG!).
So yeah, that's a real horse. And that's Kevin Barnes wearing super short shorts on a real horse. That was one of the many extravagances that happened last night and that everybody is talking about today, or at least all the teenagers (I am not one) who were in attendance, because I doubt people would forget a show like last night's just like that.
I have been excited all day listening on repeat their entire catalog (that's a lot!), particularly their new good album Skeletal Lamping, having flashes of half-human-half-animal creatures and a creamy Kevin asking for a hug. I am sure I am not the only one. Kevin Barnes and his gang played in its entirety his new baby, Skeletal Lamping, plus some great (now) oldies and an impressive cover of Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit. Very appropiate... it did really smell like it.
Of Montreal's new music is very adventurous, not conventional pop, twisted in its own and these days very melodic changing even within one same song. Only after way too many times listening to their new stuff I could start identifying where really the songs end and when they don't. With that in mind, I am very fucking proud of putting together the set list in the middle of all the dancing and fisting I did. Here it is:
Id EngagerWow, that was long. Last time I saw Of Montreal they played most of Hissing Fauna, and this time they did the same but with Skeletal. When you hear the album, after several spins, you realized there is no other possible ordering for its tracks, and Kevin agrees. He is playing (like he did for the Hissing Fauna tour) most of the new songs in several groups keeping the same order as they come on the album without interrupting the flow.
So Begins Our Alabee
Triphallus, to Punctuate!
She's A Rejector
For Our Elegant Caste
Touched Something's Hollow
An Eluardian Instance
Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse
Wraith Pinned To The Mist & Other Games
Women's Studies Victims
Ero's Entropic Tundra
Nonpareil of Favor
October Is Eternal
Disconnect The Dots
Our Spring Is Sweet Not FleetingKnight Rider (Thanks P4K!)
And I've Seen a Bloody Shadow
Death Is Not a Parallel Move
Beware Our Nubile Miscreants
A Sentence Of Sorts In Kongsvinger
Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit
He has several tricks to keep our eyes on the stage and don't, let's say, start doing some texting. He sometimes uses Sunlandic Twins' instrumentals, sometimes let his two drummers (yeah, now he has two!) get creative while he dresses up as a centaur, or wears some bath clothes just to be murdered, or sometimes he just gives us one of those classic Satanic Panic in the Attic tracks we all old school fans love.
Even though I loved Id Engager (and his scream) as a set opener, making clear from the beginning a party was about to start, the show really kicked off for me after hearing one of my favorite songs off Hissing Fauna, She's A Rejector, when I couldn't stand still with my (old) friends and had to go to join the youth. Stickiness and sweatiness came right after, with Skeletal's highlight Four Elegant Caste and its infectuous chorus about doing it softcore and going both ways that everybody loves singing to, and it pretty much lasted until what I think is the real closer track on Skeletal, Mingusings. I am glad I bought a t-shirt at the beginning of the show... I really needed it afterwards.
This time, I will never forget how much I enjoyed live my current favorite Of Montreal song, An Elurdian Instance, how touching Kevin sounded solo in a piano, and of course, Kevin on a horse in a venue in Manhattan. So thanks yet one more time... I couldn't feel luckier of being an Of Montreal fan. [photos of the show]