The theatrical cult US group, ‘Of Montreal’ brought their unique mix of psychedelic funk, electronica pop, and American rock to the stage of the recently renovated Glasgow School of Art on February 18.
With a crowd composed of couples trying to impress one another on a date to a unique show, and individuals who confidently danced on their own throughout the set, the Glasgow crowd were receptive to the spectacle of an ‘Of Montreal’ performance.
Rebecca Cash appeared ethereal in a white dress with a floral headband as she addressed the audience with the question: ‘Are you feeling tender Glasgow?’
This set the tone of the show, as the crowd would soon become involved with the intimate performances of the band from Athens, Georiga. After promising that she would get to know every one of us in the crowd soon enough, Cash introduced lead singer and creator of the group, Kevin Barnes, onto the stage.
With the band all dressed in white, Barnes stood out in a bright emerald and gold cape, signifying his position as the colourful leader of the group.
The mesmerising visuals projected created a backdrop that set the emotional state of each song. ‘The Party’s Crashing Us’ was accompanied by a montage of a night at the carnival, with the energetic and bouncing Barnes emphasising the feel-good anthem as he sang ‘I want to grab you and just kiss you, maybe I should sit down’.
These up-beat performances in turn clashed with darker songs such as ‘Colossus’, which featured Barnes and Cash hauntingly harmonizing as they sang phrases such as ‘I’ve become such a wolf around you’ and ‘All of my friends they are falling apart’.
‘Raindrop in My Skull’ had the audience transfixed on Rebecca Cash as she took centre stage in a stripped back performance of a song about feeling shaken and unsure. Her vocals rose to become commanding as the song reached its climax, creating a roar of applause from the audience as Kevin Barnes stepped back into the spotlight to close the show.
After whipping off the upper half of his outfit as he danced, Barnes briefly left the stage only to return after a full costume change, with a sparkling blue sequin top to dazzle the audience even further. The set finished with a furious battle of guitars, keyboard and drums, as each band member created a crescendo of sound to finish the dramatic number, ‘The Past is a Grotesque Animal’, which featured over 11 minutes of frantic strobe lighting and hypnotic riffs.
With an encore encouraging a sing-along from the audience, Of Montreal had the crowd captivated throughout their set, and left them leaving the venue with bright imprints of the psychedelic visuals still appearing in front of them every time they closed their eyes.