of Montreal, a critically acclaimed indie rock/psychedelic pop band from Athens, Georgia took the stage at The Haunt on Thursday, Oct. 24. A crowded group of mostly students enjoyed an extremely fun and wacky performance. Locate S,1, a band with close ties to of Montreal, opened for an hour as the crowd trickled in, playing a few upbeat indie rock songs. I enjoyed their performance, although I found their repertoire very repetitive.
The experimental pop band, of Montreal, delivered a theatrical performance at The Haunt in Ithaca on Monday. The band was founded by lead singer Kevin Barnes in 1996, and their music has since endured various evolutions since their early rock, alternative sound. With the release of their most recent album, of Montreal has embraced an experimental pop vibe that deviates from the style of the band’s 13 previous albums. This performance not only showcased the band’s new sound, but also integrated various songs from their older albums, all which were welcomed by the crowd of veteran fans. The band’s publicist Naavin Karimbux described Barnes as “a sort of modern day David Bowie.” Though this statement seems a bit too bold, Kevin Barnes certainly knows how to entertain the crowd and his use of costume changes, dancers, sets and theatrics allows him to mimic Bowie, in his drama and androgyny. The first song on of Montreal’s latest album is “let’s relate,” which begins with the lyric, “how do you identify?” This question of identity pervades the band’s music and was an overarching theme of the performance.
Four years ago, of Montreal emerged from a series of bouncy, acoustic concept albums with Satanic Panic, a mixture of catchy surf rock, electronic psychedelia and peculiar language. Last year, however, of Montreal did something completely out of character and charted with the acclaimed Hissing Fauna, a dense, darkly contemplative concept album with a synth-heavy Best of Bowie glam sound. Kevin Barnes, the band’s multi-talented frontman, even introduced his complementary ‘70s rock persona Georgie Fruit, a transgendered black man with a propensity for performing completely nude.