Of Montreal at Latitude 2009
So where to start when reviewing an Of Montreal live show? Yeah, they were wearing bonkers outfits. Pink plumes of feathers puffing out of shoulder pads, Bruno-esque bright blue and white military apparel, flares as wide as tree trunks. Yup, the makeup was in place. Glittered faces to a standard that Ziggy Stardust would be proud of. Of course there was the flamboyant entrance. Lead singer Kevin Barnes carried onto the stage perched on the shoulders of two strapping young men. Oh, and there’s the dancers. Various scenes are acted out to a gobsmacked audience throughout the show, from a cold blooded murder or two to a monster resembling a giant nik nak giving birth to a normal looking guy.
So they’re insane, right? Well maybe... but hell do they know how to put on a show. It’s unfortunate that they are playing the mid afternoon, bright sunshine slot, as a lot of the mystery and magic is stripped bare without the cover of darkness and the whole thing often looks ridiculous. But when a band seem so convinced that what they are doing is great it can become infectious and it’s not long before everything that is going on on the stage before us is perfectly natural and something to behold.
OK, so I don’t really know what they played. The music is nearly as random as the live show and flits all over the place juggling with genres and throwing them about with reckless abandon. But after a visit to wonderland it’s the feast that was delivered to the eyes that makes the lasting impression, and it makes Of Montreal one of the best live bands on the planet.