A couple of friends and I spent Saturday evening looking conspicuously old and out of place at the Of Montreal show, which took place at the College of William & Mary University Center. I got the distinct feeling that my friends and I were the only non-students there, but whatever -- we had a good time.
Of Montreal was fantastic. They took the stage in slow motion -- literally -- and proceeded to bounce through a set heavy on songs from The Sunlandic Twins and Satanic Panic in the Attic. Kevin Barnes was a hoot. He had a glammy, flamboyant stage persona and managed to create a rapport with the audience without saying much at all between songs. He was just fun to watch.
The musicianship was top-notch. I have no idea who the dude playing the bass was, but dear me, he was smokin'. There were lots of tight, high three-part harmonies, too. All said, I was impressed by how well Barnes' five-piece band recreates the complex, intricate tunes from his albums live, and also by how much my friends and I ended up shakin' our arses. Highlights included "Wraith Pinned to the Mist (And Other Games)," "Will You Come and Fetch Me" and, during the encore, a cover of the Supergrass gem "Alright."
What a treat!
I only wish more people had been there to see it, and that the mix had been a little more balanced.
Cloe Burn opened the show with a ambient instrumental set ... just looped feedback and simple drumming. It was, y'know, interesting. They played on the floor with everyone standing in a circle around them. I'm guessing they haven't been together long.
St. Thomas, pictured, played just before Of Montreal. St. Thomas is actually Thomas Hansen, a former mailman from Norway. He only brought himself, an acoustic guitar and an auxiallary percussionist/banjo player. Despite being plagued by sound problems, Hansen's easygoing, humorous stage banter and winning melodies were enough to keep a decent chunk of the small crowd interested. The St. Thomas website reports that Hansen is planning to record in Nashville, possibly with Lambchop's Mark Nevers producing.
Here are a few St. Thomas tracks:
Heroes Making Dinner
An Artist with A Brilliant Disguise
And last but not least:
622 music videos (lots of cool stuff, mostly in Quicktime, via Metafilter).