In Which I Very Briefly and Very Belatedly Review Last Month’s Of Montreal Show at The Pageant

December 20, 2007

So, one month ago tonight, I saw Of Montreal at The Pageant. They put on, as they are wont to do, a great show. I have seen them play here in St. Louis three times, the first being just two years ago. Their progression through the venues of St. Louis in a two year stretch is indicative of their reach in pop-culture at large over that time period; the first show was at the tiny Gargoyle, then Mississippi Nights and now The Pageant. Their latest album, Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?, is easily my favorite album from the band one one of my favorites on the year (Best of 2007 list coming soon, I swear!).We got to the venue right after MGMT played, but the reviews I got from friends that had been there on time were mixed. Eh.We did, however, get to see Grand Buffet. Wow, they were bad. Two white guys rapping as if the only band they had ever listened to was the Beastie Boys, but somehow managed to completely disregard the quality production and craftmanship of the backing tracks. They were entertaining for – maybe – one song. After that, it got old fast. A band like that really needs to be funny, or at least charming. They were neither. There were two rappers, and for ease, I will refer to one as the skinny guy and one as the fat guy. I consistently wanted to punch the skinny guy in the face. The fat guy could actually rhyme every now and then, had decent flow, and actually had a good voice. I breathed a sigh of relief every time he took over the mic from the skinny guy. They put me in a bad mood leading into Of Montreal, but I was at least aware of this issue and tried to not let it affect me going into the main event.The stage setup for Of Montreal was way more elaborate than anything I had ever seen them utilize before. The trade-off, apparently, was fewer costume changes for the night. Alas. The band is known for its live covers, and this night was no exception, with the band opening the show with Prince’s electro-ballad classic “I Would Die 4 U”. Without missing a beat, they headed straight into another Prince song, “Baby, I’m a Star”. It was a great way to start the show and made me forget all about the disaster that was Grand Buffet. The show was great, with the set leaning heavily on songs from the bands two newest albums. Much to my chagrin, but not to an excessive amount of surprise, the band did not play “The Past Is A Grotesque Animal” which they have been apparently playing on this tour. The other main, but minor, thing I notice about the show was that the set was more drum machine-heavy than previous shows I had seen. Some of their best songs feature the drum machine, but in a live setting, live drums add a layer of immediacy that is both welcome and flattering to the band’s sound.

Todd of IShootShows has some OUTSTANDING (as usual) pictures of the show up.

…I guess this review didn’t end up being that brief, after all. Additionally, I have mp3’s of the two Prince covers from that night below.

Of Montreal – I Would Die 4 U (live Prince cover)
Of Montreal – Baby, I’m A Star (live Prince cover)

The Main Drag’s cover of LCD Soundsystem’s “All My Friends” has absolutely no right to be as good as it is. Seriously, none at all. Thanks to cokemachineglow.

The Main Drag – All My Friends (LCD Soundsystem)

Double Bonus:

In Which I Belatedy and Briefly Review The Black Angels Show I Saw A Few Weeks Ago

So I went down to San Antonio two weeks ago to go to the Big XII championship football game. Yeah. That went well.Anyway, flights to SA were around $1200, so a friend and I flew through Dallas, which worked out well for me since my parents live there and I saved about a thousand dollars. On that Friday night, we went out to eat sushi at Blue Fish on Lower Greenville, which was, incidentally, great. As we left the restaurant around 10:30, we noticed that The Black Angels were playing at The Granada Theater, which was directly across the street. Telling my parents that we would cab it home later, we let them be on their way and headed over to the show. Very unexpected.The Strange Boys were opening and were very… 60’s. They were good, but their set only really needed to be about 15-20 minutes long. The Black Angels, on the other hand, were great. A band that plays the sort of music that they play has to be tight, and they were certainly tight. Unfortunately, we had to duck out a bit early due to a 6 am wake-up call before the four and a half hour drive down to San Antonio.

I will definitely see them again if I can.

(That review was actually brief.)


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