Touring with Of Montreal was the Grand Buffet, a couple of white guy rappers from Pittsburgh who were pretty hilarious, if not a bit of a novelty, especially after they brought out a stuffed animal called "motorcycle dog" to sit on a mike stand during their final rap. Regardless, they seemed to be having a lot of fun, as did the audience when I walked in with a couple songs to go. Chicago band Walter Meego played their brand of electro-rock second; this is a local band that I think has a lot of potential to go places. Before they do though, I think singer Justin Sconza needs to perfect his falsetto first; his vocals wavered from spot-on to a little dicey. All in all, I enjoyed them, especially when Justin and Jarrett bobbed up and down to the beat in front of their keyboards. Justin also gets big props for wearing acid-washed jeans straight out the '80s.
In between sets, I took note of the small group of youngin's who glammed up for the show, clearly getting there just as the doors opened in order to park themselves right up front and center. One young man especially went all out, sporting a teased and glittery hairdo, gold eye makeup, gold necklaces and some sort of velvet dress with gold threading. Where were these kids when I was in high school?
I'd been prepared for what to expect from Of Montreal's stage show, and they surely did not disappoint. After Thax came out to do a poem joined by someone dressed as Darth Vader, the band came out in full costume and makeup, with frontman Kevin Barnes's sporting a chinese shirt and red pants to go along with his bronzed face and blue eyeshadow creating a mask around his eyes. Meanwhile, three video screens pulsed with light shows, photographs and various cartoon imagery. After timidly launching into "Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse," the band gained traction with each song and each costume change. After ripping the Chinese shirt during "Cato As a Pun" to reveal a glittery tiger t-shirt and putting on a large lobster claw for a fwe minutes, Kevin eventually went backstage as the band played an extended instrumental, returning in hot pants and fishnets to do an intense version of "The Past Is a Grostesque Animal." As the band played through most of Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? and much of Satanic Panic in the Attic, he eventually climbed a ladder into a giant dress and then stripped down into a leotard with poofy ruffles on the side. Glam-a-rific!
Aside from the visual spectacle, the band sounded great, everyone seeemed to be having a blast, and the glam kids up front got some personal contact with their idol when Kevin got on his knees to do a guitar solo for them at the front of the stage. Other than the extended instrumental, Kevin's costume changes were pretty seamless, so the show flowed quite well. I think Hissing Fauna is undoubtedly their best album yet, so I wasn't sad at all to have it be the primary focus of their set list.
Check out the photoblog to see pictures; the various costumes are best seen rather than described. Stupid blogger isn't letting me post a pic directly, so it's your only way to see it!