Of Montreal, Cults, Roman GianArthur, Kishi Bashi Fitzgerald's March 11, 2012
This was a sold-out show where all of the acts really put on a, well, show. Although the theatrics Of Montreal provided at previous shows was toned down, they still delivered a spectacle. In fact, all of the billed acts were a visual and auditory treat.
Of Montreal may be a little gimmicky at times, but they're always... fun. That's my complex analysis of whatever Of Montreal comes up with. They're not to be overanalyzed. They're just simple, innocent fun.
So, three-quarters of the way through their set, a character clad in a gas mask and a glittery cape flashed two large pillows on his chest to the audience. That got a couple of chuckles and then the next song was a danceable number. That was far toned down from the time lead singer Kevin Barnes emerged from a coffin wearing shaving cream.
Or that time he sang naked, just because.
First act Kishi Bashi began his set with Fitzgerald's being maybe about halfway to capacity. I arrived just on time to see him start playing and I got to stand behind maybe only two rows of people. This talented multi-instrumentalist who also now performs as a member of Of Montreal's band came up with most interesting ways to play a violin and to use his voice as an instrument, looping most of the sounds he produced. It was strange, but very lovely.
Roman GianArthur was up next. Adding to the eclecticness of the show, GianArthur gave us some funk and R&B, and then later proceeded to cover Radiohead's "High and Dry."
The best part was that he could be Usher's twin, both in looks and his similar R&B croon. He started his set urging the crowd to put down their phones and enjoy the show, also claiming to "have no recordings, no Web site, just here to have a good time."
Following his set, Fitzgerald's was beginning to fill up. By the time Cults started the venue was about at capacity.
Cults provided a very visually pleasing show. Their visual and auditory elements blended very well. They have their own brand of dreamy '60s pop with a tinge of distortion. Every song was catchy. They sounded live just as recorded, except with louder guitar riffs.
Close to closing their set, bandmate Brian Oblivion declared, "Houston is definitely better than Dallas!" Houston pride! The crowed cheered loudly, proving his point, right?
A variety of Talking Heads songs were playing as Of Montreal was setting up, channeling their funky spirit. The band opened with the first song on new album Paralytic Stalks "Gelid Ascent," and then plays the following three songs in order of the album tracks as well. The older songs that then followed blended seamlessly with their newer tracks.
Despite having toned down their stage antics, Of Montreal still provided interesting hallucinatory visual elements to their show. All of Of Montreal's members remain great performance artists, to say the least.
Last night's performance was still a "celebration of life," as lead singer Barnes basically described Of Montreal in his interview with us. Next to everybody was having a goofy good time there last night, with almost everyone on the balcony and the floor hopping and dancing around thorough the entire show to the point that it felt like the floor was about to cave in.
Personal Bias: I am already a fan of Cults and Of Montreal, though, as always, that doesn't void possible criticism, with the same mindset as expressed in this recent post.
The Crowd: The crowd was pretty diverse, actually. My personal favorite was a guy in the very front row who was repeatedly "raising the roof" for a good half of Of Montreal's set. I'm not quite sure what he was on, if anything, but like most of the crowd, he was sure having a good time.
Overheard In the Crowd: "Sunday fundayy!" Basically.
Random Notebook Dump: Kishi Bashi was the cheeriest looking guy. While playing with Of Montreal he couldn't stop hopping around and dancing to the music while largely smiling. He's someone you'd want to give a bear hug to.
CULTS SET LIST: Abducted The Curse Never Heal Myself Most Wanted You Know What I Mean Bumper Never Saw the Point Rave On Walk at Night Go Outside Oh My God
OF MONTREAL SET LIST: