Sunday, September 5, 2010

2010-05-20 - Vox Magazine

of Montreal kicks off Summerfest

Georgia band of Montreal plays in CoMo for the third time in four years

Photo courtesy of of Montreal

of Montreal is known for its colorful stage performances. The band is playing the first 9th Street Summerfest of the year. All fests are free and located at Ninth and Broadway.

May 20, 2010 | 12:00 a.m. CST

Follow VoxMag on Twitter for live coverage of Summerfest. Click here for photos of the concert.
Last April when of Montreal played The Blue Note, the energetic rockers came bearing feather-spraying tubes, actors dressed as pigs and lead singer Kevin Barnes’ cross- dressing stage persona, Georgie Fruit. Transforming the venue into a psychedelic circus fit for Andy Warhol, the band left the feather-coated audience begging for an encore. Now of Montreal is granting the crowd’s wish with a free outdoor concert as part of the 9th Street Summerfest series. Call it a stroll down Memory Lane — or maybe just Ninth Street.

This will be of Montreal’s third time to play Columbia in the past four years, and due to an ever-increasing audience, the band has played a larger stage each time. “We have a long history with of Montreal,” says The Blue Note’s talent buyer Peter McDevitt. “They’ve played both Mojo’s and The Blue Note, and it’s always a great and very entertaining show.”

9th Street Summerfest featuring of Montreal
Where: Ninth and Broadway
When: Wednesday, May 26. Gates open at 6 p.m., concert at 7 p.m.
Cost: Free
Call: 573-874-1944

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The band’s style of music is almost as adventurous as its onstage antics. “I wouldn’t try to put us in one genre or spot,” lead guitarist Bryan Poole says. “If you start doing that, you limit how creative you can be. You can say we are electro-dance pop, indie-pop, or you can say we’re a funk band or a psychedelic band or an annoying band — I don’t know, hopefully not.” As for the band’s quirky stage wardrobe, Poole describes it in one word: fiasco.

“There’s a lot of bands that dress up in their indie-rock T-shirts,” Poole says. “Or you can be like Neil Young or whatever, which is totally cool, but we like to add a theatrical element to it and make it a surreal experience.”

Mesmerized by this unique stage presence and distinctive sound, Zak Littrell, a student at Webster University in St. Louis, will be traveling to Columbia to see of Montreal for the third time. After seeing the band at Bonnaroo and Lollapalooza, Littrell is eager for another concert. “For the show in Chicago, I was kind of close, and I was able to take a lot of pictures and video,” Littrell says. “They just put on a really good theatrical performance.”

Fans aren’t the only ones anticipating the free show — Poole says the band is looking forward to it, too. “The Blue Note is a great club,” he says. “It’s got a lot of big history. There are only so many clubs around the country that still have a good independent streak. The Blue Note seems to be one of those places.”

Although the event will be held on a large outdoor stage, the intimacy that accompanies an indoor club will not be lost. For Littrell, the Ninth Street stage will be the closest he’s been to the band. “I’m most excited for the fact that it’s going to be a smaller venue,” Littrell says. “I’ve only seen them at a festival setting with a very large crowd each time.”

The Columbia concert will be one of the group’s last performances before it releases its forthcoming album, False Priest, in September. Poole says Barnes, who creates all of Montreal’s music, is currently at work on the album in L.A., but in the meantime the band figures it might as well play some shows.

“As long as the weather is nice, then playing outside is a lot of fun,” Poole says. “The show in Columbia is going to be great.”

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