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More than just your
typical live performance

of Montreal
Pabst Theatre
Milwaukee, WI
Oct. 26, 2008
of Montreal of Montreal of Montreal

Story and photos by Joe Hargreaves

One doesn't just jump directly to atonal fusion without a firm foundation in jazz. Similarly, one doesn't just attend an of Montreal performance without some understanding of their work's progression over the past 10+ years. To do so wouldn't make much sense, and certainly in both cases, tastes are acquired.

Of Montreal is more than just your typical live performance act; they're an indie prog-rock, funk-infused, pop spectacular. Think of them as a mix between the cast of Rocky Horror, Bowie's character Ziggy Stardust, George Clinton's Parliament-Funkadelic, and Prince. The ever evolving direction from front-man Kevin Barnes has kept fans from getting too comfortable with any one style, which started in the indie lo-fi vein with all its simple quirky pop sounds, and since progressed to the most recent endeavor utilizing synthesized drum machine based electronics. Resulting in the truly surreal, by touring on stage a bizarrely Vaudevillian burlesque transgender carnival, with wild-west saloon style gunfights, masked militia masturbating with M-16's, and a living-room collective of posable freaks, all adorned in appropriate transsexual regalia. Meanwhile a barrage of projected images corresponding to the songs being play/acted back all theatrics in a truly interesting and quite remarkable display, one that must be witnessed in order to fully appreciate.

Whether of Montreal's journey has just begun, or their destination has arrived; only time and patience will tell. As to where they could go from here... it's best that we leave that in the mind of Mr. Barnes!

Related articles:

of Montreal - Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? - Album review

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