Monday, April 2, 2012

Concert Review: Of Montreal in Cleveland, OH

Seldom have I seen a crowd so geared up for the performance they are awaiting as the audience at the Beachland Ballroom on Thursday.

Kishi Bashi took the stage alone at around 8:30, and began to play a set that instantly entranced the crowd. Bashi used his violin and live samples to play some of the most incredible and musically sound pieces I've heard live in a long time. His mastery of both pizzicato and conventional violin bowing were incredible to hear and observe visually.

Kishi Bashi

Kishi Bashi surrendered the stage to Loney Dear, a Swedish duo that were received with much less enthusiasm. 

Loney Dear

Loney Dear put on a reasonably good set, but the crowd was too energized for their soft, calm songs. It didn't help that, after Kishi Bashi, their music seemed a lot less impressive.

There was a long wait in between Loney Dear and Of Montreal. Lots of light adjustments happened, each time stirring the crowd into a frenzy. When the band finally took the stage, they launched instantly into an almost non-stop set of songs from their last four albums. Each song seemed to bring a new level of excitement to the crowd. 

The set was lively and energetic and just loud enough not to be too loud. The crowd danced and sang along to every song. The band ended their set and it was almost immediately clear that there would be an encore. Two people dressed as pigs returned to the stage and welcomed the band back out after a few minutes. Of Montreal then launched into a ton of songs, one right after the other, mostly from Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? and Skeletal Lamping.

There was not a lot of talking or pausing during the band's set or encore set, it was mainly just song after glorious song.

After the show, as we headed back to our vehicle, we noticed that lead singer Kevin Barnes was surrounded by a small crowd at the exit door. He was very sweet about signing things for people and taking pictures with fans.

Seeing Of Montreal isn't just a good show, it's a great experience.

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