Of Montreal sell out hometown Athens with their euphoric indie pop

Of Montreal. Photo by Andres Alvarado

The ever-androgynous front man Kevin Barnes and his band Of Montreal kicked off the U.S. leg of their tour to promote their 14th LP Innocence Reaches, playing to a sold out 40 Watt Club in their hometown of Athens, Ga.

The room is darkened with only the neon lights radiating from the stage. Then, gowned in a massive black cloak spewing fog via thick hood shrouding his face, Barnes makes an ethereal entrance reminiscent of the grim reaper himself from a science fiction story. The cloak is removed, and Barnes immediately jumps into high gear with a rendition of “It’s different for girls” the latest single of the new album. Barnes and company are completely in sync musically. On stage, however, Barnes steals the spotlight.

Photos by Andres Alavarado

Throughout the show Barnes constantly exchanges outfits, each more outrageous than the last. He is incredibly devoted to detail. He owns his style and is comfortable in his skin. It isn’t always a one man show, no. At times, he is accompanied by backup dancers in somehow more extravagant outfits, including male genitalia with the face of presidential candidate Donald Trump (not sure of the symbolism there) and a larger than life possum that seems to have wandered off a Jim Henson set. Along with many tracks off the new album, Of Montreal cover fan favorites like “Id Engager”, “Gronlandic Edit”, “Gallery Piece” and close the show with a crowd sing-along to “She’s a Rejecter”.

Attending Of Montreal is a must for their fans, it has to been seen to be believed. The great deal of effort and work that went into each detail of the show is apparent. Cosmopolitan outfits, dramatic makeup, and rodent dance recitals make this a bucket list experience. They’re a delight to watch for all in attendance. Despite the ominous opening, this show was far from dead.

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