A scandalous night with Of Montreal at the Chameleon Club
Of Montreal / Photos by Elizabeth Mazenko

“I like the name Lancaster… maybe I will change my name to Lancaster!”

Mad Max, a character dressed in a red and black body suit adorned with a cape and top hat, mulled this over in the midst of a rant about letting opossums loose in the crowd to pet, and cuddling the audience to sleep “just to wake up in his basement of love.” A little odd for Kevin Barnes’ introduction, but I don’t think the crowd at the Chameleon minded too much. Eccentric was what they came for.

Icky Blossoms warmed up the stage as the room slowly filled its three tiers. The Omaha-based group has a heavy electro-pop sound edged with experimental melodies and synthesized embellishments. The band pranced and thrashed their way through a set previewing their upcoming album Mask (out May 12) while playing some favorites like “Sex to the Devil” from 2013’s Revisions. Sarah Bohling’s (synth and vocals) voice was what I noticed the most out of everything. Not saying that Nik Fackler (vocals, lead guitar), and Derek Pressnall (best known for his work with Tilly and the Wall) did not give just as mesmerizing of a performance. But their voices blended in well with the entanglement melodies and dance rhythms. Bohling’s voice, though, has a spirited finesse to it that punches through the sound and rings in your ears for a while. If you haven’t heard of them yet, I suggest starting here.

Ranging from bleached hair tucked under a trucker hat to white hair showing age and wisdom, the diverse crowd swelled to a considerable size for a Monday as Of Montreal started their shenanigans. Dressed relatively simply, Barnes came to the stage sporting a white jacket, white short shorts, and blue sparkle eyeliner (ditching the jacket partway into the set in exchange for a lovely pleated blue and white shirt). From kaleidoscope eyeball projections to stripping poodles hugging Abraham Lincolns, Barnes knows how to fill the evening with scandalous fun.

Most of the performance was pulled from of Montreal’s 2007 release, Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?, and only touched on the new Aureate Gloom with a few songs including “Bassam Sabry” and “Like Ashoka’s Inferno of Memory.” Halfway through the show, Barnes took a small country break inviting one of his stage-hands to the mic for a swoon worthy performance of Kitty Wells’ “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels.” After another off the wall introduction by Mad Max, the evening ended with a three song frenzy of an encore, complete with Barnes standing on a box looking over his alien brides dancing and imitating making love to the other stage hands and band members; ripping shirts and parts of costumes off of flailing bodies. Insanity.

Missed the show? Check out the setlist and photo gallery below.

Suffering for Fashion
Bassem Sabry
Triumph of Disintegration
Empyrean Abattoir
Hydra Fancies
Bunny Ain’t No Kind of Rider
Beware Our Nubile Miscreants
And I’ve Seen a Bloody Shadow
Plastis Wafer
Obsidian Currents
It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels
We Were Born the Mutants Again with Leafling
Chthonian Dirge For Uruk The Other
Like Ashoka’s Inferno Of Memory
The Party’s Crashing Us

Gronlandic Edit
She’s a Rejecter
Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse

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