Review: Of Montreal at Sacramento State Student Union Ballroom 02/12/07

C’mon mood shift back to good again

With images of Of Montreal front man Kevin Barnes in tight pink hot pants on my mind, I hopped in my car, picked up my friend and headed to Sac State. Upon arrival at the will-call window there were some despondent hipsters waiting in line to get their money back.

Apparently the opening act, Ariel Pink, had cancelled.

As I was putting together an appropriate sarcastic comment to say to my friend, a nice young lady wearing a shirt that said “30 isn’t old if you’re a tree” asked me if we were in the will-call line. I affirmed. Apparently, she had driven to Sacramento from the Bay Area to see the show a second time.

I wondered if she really was 30.

She could have been.

On stage, pinch hitting for Ariel Pink, was the Sacramento band, Didley Squat. I found them to be an uneasy mix of Ted Leo and the Pharmacists riffs with Jervis Cocker theatrics. However, kudos are in order to any band for working nacho cheese with bananas into their live act.

Between the acts it became apparent that a lot of the crowd under 18, which certainly had it’s impact on the vibe.

After about 20 minutes, the members of Of Montreal “snuck” on stage one by one. When Kevin Barnes came out, he was not wearing pink hot pants, but a cummerbund and a gold thong-backed unitard.

Unfortunately, the sound was harsh and distorted, and it detracted from the show. However, the show itself was tight. We were treated to a spot-on epic Bowie cover, a new as-yet unreleased song “Feminine Effects” and Of Montreal standards such as “Rapture Rapes the Muses” and “Disconnect the Dots” as well as a healthy smattering of tunes from Sunlandic Twins and Hissing Fauna.

The show reflected the look of the video for Heimdlsgate Like a Promethean Curse. There was hand held cut-out comet, art from David Barnes (Kevin’s brother and designer of the band’s distinctive cover art) and even a dancing bear.

Overall, I would venture to guess that the show in San Francisco would have been more enjoyable, mostly due to better sound quality and less teenie boppers. However, I am glad Unique Programs brought them to our fair city.

I wonder if the girl in the “30 isn’t old if you’re a tree” shirt thought it was worth the trip.