Review: Of Montreal — A World of Bright Colors, Neon Wigs, and Amazing Music

When you go to an of Montreal show, expect to be transported to a world of bright colors, neon wigs, and amazing music.

Their concert at 9:30 Club earlier this month was truly magical. The show started with an announcer stating we would be “talking about the thing no one ever talks about: the voices in our heads.” Kevin Barnes then leaped on stage, followed by three passionate dancers in coordinating outfits. The audience initially erupted in laughter, but I think this was because they didn’t know exactly how to react to the show. Kevin Barnes played a mix of the band’s greatest hits along with new content from the recent album, Freewave Luciferf<ck f^ck f>ck. After each song, the backup dancers would leave the stage, only to return in less than a minute in new costumes to match the next song. As the set went on, the costumes got more bright, more eclectic, and more absurd. And the audience loved it. Everyone around me was singing along and completely invested in the show. 

The best part of the show was the band’s interaction with the audience. Kevin Barnes took an audience member’s hat and wore it for a song. The backup dancers often gave high fives on their way off stage. In one of the last songs of the set Kevin Barnes sent out a long string of balloons, about 30 meters long, into the audience. Audience members passed the balloons around the room, made sure everyone was able to hold it once, and took pieces of it outside the venue after the show ended. In that moment, I was aware of everyone in the audience and felt connected to them through this bizarre and creative live show. 

I highly recommend seeing of Montreal live as soon as possible. The concert left me buzzing and smiling like an absolute fool on a Thursday night. In the meantime, you can listen to of Montreal on Spotify here and see other live shows at the 9:30 Club here.

Written by Margaret Koulen.


About the author

Sarah Mathys

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Sarah is a junior Anthropology major from Austin, Texas, and the Editor in Chief of The Rotation. She has a deep love for overpriced tea, Jack White, and live music. Catch her live on South By Northern Virginia with DJ Marshall every Monday night from 8-10 EST.

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