Last night, April 25th, I saw of Montreal with Painted Palms opening at the Harro East Ballroom in Rochester. Although small, the Ballroom ended up being a really great place for a show. It is typically a place for more formal parties, but it transformed nicely and the high ceilings gave it perfect acoustics for both performances.
Painted Palms was definitely a good match as an opener for an of Montreal show. They had a similar electronic style, sounding (and even looking) similar to Animal Collective. The bassist was my personal favorite part of the band because of how into the music he got. Each person in the band had their own look different from one another which was cool to see, and they meshed very well together. After a short half hour set what everyone was waiting for finally began.
Of Montreal is one of my favorite bands for many reasons: they have such an original and unique sound, lead singer Kevin Barnes dresses in some of the weirdest yet coolest outfits, and there is just so much going on in the background that it makes for an overall awesome experience. I’ve seen of Montreal once before at BOMB Fest last year, which was cool but I wanted the experience of seeing them on their own since they couldn’t do their full crazy performance in a thirty minute time slot at a festival. My biggest critique of this show was that they didn’t play for long enough! They played a quick hour and a half set which, with the opener included, brought the show to an early halt at 10:30. Of Montreal played heavily off their latest album False Priest, which admittedly is not one of my favorites. I was hoping to hear some of their older music which I like a lot more, but it also makes sense why they would focus on this album since it has an upbeat feel and it was just released last year. The background screens were filled with bright, flashing images which were sort of distracting but also just another part of the of Montreal show experience. If you’ve never seen videos of their live performances, then the skits would probably throw you off at first. People in pigs masks, wrestler costumes, and American flag body suits paraded around the stage and involved Barnes multiple times, which he just bounced back from and continued singing without even seeming out of breath.
Overall, the show was a wonderful experience but I don’t know if I would waste the gas money to drive three hours out of my way again. They’re still one of my favorites I just wish they played a little longer and made my Monday night off feel a little more worth the money!
****UPDATE: Check out my other blog dedicated to giving of Montreal news updates! And follow me on Twitter @OfMontrealNews.