Last night was Of Montreal’s tour stop in Austin,Texas. They played at popular venue, the Mohawk, to a mostly young and enthusiastic crowd clad with x’d hands and painted faces. Wild Moccasins from Houston,Texas opened the show with an energetic burst of indie dance music that fell somewhere between early Madonna and more modern acts like Beach House. The bass lines were steady and funky, creating a nice groove as the keyboardist/lead singer and guitarist created harmonious vocals over an atmospheric layer of pop sounds. They kept the crowd captivated, especially the front few rows where people danced and kept their heads bopping in unison. I could see this band being heralded as one of the hot new indie acts of 2013, so labels take notice. The set was an enjoyable surprise from an act that I had not previously heard.
Of Montreal was eagerly anticipated and came out in wildly chic, colorful garb. The set started with a mix of older and newer songs which had the die-hards singing along as the more casual fans passively watched from the upper deck. For those that do not know, Of Montreal is not just a live band but a total theatrical experience. There were costume changes and lots of performance artists, running on and off the stage in a chaotic manner. The theme for the night seemed to be Day of the Dead style masked avengers mixed and carnival-esque mutant/animal costumed creatures, coming together to do the Danse Macabre across the stage.
Feathers were shot from a canyon all over the crowd and at one point a masked performance artists crowd surfed his way to the balcony, much to the delight of onlookers. The soundtrack to the madness was Of Montreal’s remarkably upbeat songs that disguise lead singer Kevin Barnes often dark and introspective lyrics. They seem to channel a mix of David Bowie, Prince, and Elton John but with a unique, modern hipness. I was impressed by backup singer Rebecca Cash who sang lead vocals on one standout track that Of Montreal announced as being new. They played for about an hour and came out for an encore of hits from the record Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer? Fans screamed passionately along to the lyrics of fan favorite’s She’s A Rejecter, Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse, Gronlandic Edit and Suffer For Fashion. These songs were the highlight of the evening as things turned into a giant dance party.
This was an impressive Monday evening event for Austin. The crowd was packed in tight and all jams were up to par. Nothing was mediocre and I would suggest to anyone that hasn’t yet, check out Wild Moccasins and Of Montreal live when they play a city near you.
Of Montreal Show Review
Of Montreal Show Review - Austin, TX, May 6th, 2013