Live Review: Of Montreal; more *yawn* Red Sky news…

Category: Blog,Reviews — Tags: , — @ 12:45 pm May 9, 2011
Of Montreal at Slowdown, May 6, 2011.

Of Montreal at Slowdown, May 6, 2011.

by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com

I’d heard that Of Montreal’s stage show was a flamboyant circus-like extravaganza that included skits and costume changes, but I wasn’t prepared for the bizarre spectacle I saw Friday night at Slowdown. Strangest moment: Simulated sex between two stage performers in flesh-colored body suits wearing pig-head masks. Most beautiful moment: The scene captured in the above picture involving iridescent metallic body suits and a large iridescent angel/moth costume. Add to that an ongoing wrestling match simulation between various masked performers, a giant blob wearing a gas mask with an enormous crab claw attacking a pig person, and a 12-foot-tall shimmering creature with four arms.

And let’s not forget the actual band, which played a great set of dance-y pop songs fronted by an effeminate Kevin Barnes in hot pants and full make-up.  After the shortish set, the band came out for a couple encores that concluded with a final wrestling match that involved everyone in the band who, one-at-a-time, were tossed or dived into the audience to be carried overhead leaving only the fiddle player on stage, who played a solo version of America the Beautiful before all the musicians and performers returned to stage for a fiddle-powered hoedown. What more could you want from a show?

BTW, this show was well-attended but far from a sell-out (or so it appeared). It was a great crowd, though, that got its aerobic work-outs in on the dance floor. Another aside: Of Montreal used an innovative camera-and-projector system that captured the stage antics, distorted the images, and then projected them onto a huge screen backdrop — the most effective use of projectors I’ve seen at a rock show.

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I continue to get asked what I think of the whole Red Sky Festival situation. I finally told someone yesterday that, really, Red Sky couldn’t be further away from what I cover (which means it couldn’t be further away from what I’m interested in)  especially after last week’s announcement of country superstar Jason Aldean, who I’ve never heard of prior to that announcement. That followed Thursday’s announcement of Better Than Ezra, George Clinton and Cowboy Mouth on the annex stages. Aldean tickets are slightly more than the 311 tix ($54.75, $44.75, $29.75). This sliding scale pricing system is somewhat confusing, especially from a “festival” standpoint, though maybe after all the headliners are announced, Red Sky will announce a one-price-for-everything option. Or maybe not. Perhaps they’re simply viewing this as six days of concerts held in the ball park, each concert seperately priced. Considering your typical 311 fan won’t give two shits about Aldean (and vice versa) this probably makes sense. Instead of a festival, Red Sky is more of a hodge-podge, but it does leave open the possibility that Live Nation will book at least one good alt/indie band during their Week of Banality.

Of more interest is the MAHA Music Festival, and its announcement of three additional main stage bands to join Guided By Voices, Matisyahu and Cursive. When that announcement will be made, no one knows, though one would hope it’s coming soon as MAHA tix are now on sale.

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Let’s face it, last week was pretty strong for shows. But it looks like we’re going to pay for it this week, as I can’t see anything of interest show-wise until Friday night, and of course, Jake’s Fest on Saturday. If you know of something hot going on this week, pass it along…

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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2011 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.

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