On Tuesday night at Neighborhood Theatre, the crowd chanted for an encore. So, naturally, two men wearing pig masks, bodysuits and Shakespearean shirts started a drum battle onstage. After a referee halted the contest, the eight-member band, led by a man with a half-shaven head, bright blue eye shadow and sporting scandalously short cutoff shorts, emerged.
Only at an Of Montreal show.
All of this madness was led by frontman Kevin Barnes - or rather, his alter ego Georgie Fruit - who strutted about the stage, often in women's clothing and in various states of undress. Barnes is an enthralling performer, light on the banter and heavy on the sexual, androgynous performance.
Zac Colwell - a touring member of Of Montreal who also plays drums with the opening band, Chappo - added a velvety sax solo to "St. Exquisite's Confessions" that was worthy of a George Michael song. "Our Riotus Defects" integrated the performance art best as a tiny, blonde, underwear-clad "crazy girl" shimmied around Barnes - she was the barely-dressed Courtney Cox to his dandy Bruce Springsteen. Stalks collaborator Kishi Bashi was also along for the ride, his violin providing yet another layer of complexity to the band's music. Combined with the ever-present visuals, the excitement was relentless.
The packed crowd responded with the same high energy. Confetti guns exploded. Streamers danced into the air. The band and the audience crowd-surfed with reckless abandon. The smell of cannabis wafted through the venue. Someone in the crowd even decided wearing a tiger suit was a good idea. It was a night of weirdness, it was a night of debauchery and it was only a Tuesday.
Our Riotus Defects