Of Montreal Brings Theatrics

Of Montreal brings theatrics to a packed Blue Moose in Iowa City for Mission Creek.

April 4, 2014

For tonight’s Mission Creek Festival activity, I went to the Blue Moose to see the headlining band Of Montreal.

The doors opened at 5:30, for a 6:30 start- so you know I was there by 5:30, successfully getting my name checked off a list (I’m part of the cool crowd).

It was darkly lit, there was maybe three people including me at this time. For at least twenty minutes, a girl and I sat on the stage and stared at our phones, or just up into the stars. Eventually, people started to shuffle in. By the time 6:30 came around, there were probably 16 people there as the first opening band started: Dylan Sires and the Neighbors. A three person Guitar/Bass/Drum lineup were alternative rockers. They had some fine music to share. You can find their stuff here:

Then it was time for the second opening band: Denver band Ark Life. (I didn’t realize there were two opening bands, so there was a brief period of confusion.) These guys were a much more reserved and folk rooted rock band. They were very fun to watch. You can check out their stuff here:

And then it was time. Of Montreal was going to be next on stage. I was getting antsy to hear the band I came to see. Here’s the thing- I was not familiar at all with this band. What I failed to learn before coming to this show, is that Of Montreal is a theatrical live event. Much like David Bowie or early Genesis. I got the idea when I saw this guy pop out before the band was even introduced:
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Also, once the lead singer Kevin Barnes sprinted out in a skin tight onesie, I started to get the picture. But that didnt stop me from being surprised, and kind of scared throughout the night as I kept seeing things like this:
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And this:

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And this:
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… It proved to be a much more wild ride than I thought. But let me say this: I loved the music. And even though I was constantly frightened and confused at what I saw all night, I very much appreciated it happening. I’m sure everything that was happening had something to do with the songs being played, I simply wasn’t able to decipher the lyrics well- so I got absolutely none of it. But I felt like what I was seeing was special, a glimpse into the past music styles that would thrill and excite people. It was so entertaining, and always visually appealing- in all the strangest ways. If you guys ever get the chance to see Of Montreal for yourselves, do it!

By the end of the night, I was able to snag a setlist, and using my patience and detective skills, managed to get everyone to sign it. It took me about and hour and lots of walking, but by the end, I was part of the band’s talking circle- and that made everything worth it.

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Here are some more images- I tried to capture all the moments that had gimmicks to them:

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