One of these friends made sure to bring it to my attention on the Super Bowl in February. Me, being the diligent respondent, looked at a few venues, on the spot, and came across Of Montreal at Lincoln Hall in mid-April. Fast forward two months later; it was the night of our show!
Only a few listens to this band, and there I was on the balcony level at Lincoln Hall for a sold-out show with the Georgia-based five-piece group. Sometimes it is a decent change of pace to go to a concert for a band that you are not necessarily super familiar with when it comes to their library of music. Pardon my ignorance, but I had no idea they were technically around since 1996, with only one residing member since the very beginning, frontman, Kevin Barnes. This person has some serious vocal cords.
Untraditionally, I would also like to point out the opening band for Of Montreal, Yip Deceiver. At one point, I looked at the ground and thought about what this group reminded me of – it was as if A Flock of Seagulls and Thompson Twins had a child – Yip Deceiver. Now, this is no disrespect to the band; this is all meant in a very positive light.
Yip Deceiver is also a Georgia-based band, joining Of Montreal for this Spring 2019 tour, as the night was a specific selection to honor the 30/10 anniversaries of Schuba's (30th) and Lincoln Hall's (10th) years in existence in the Lakeview and Lincoln Park neighborhoods of Chicago. As the title of this review implies, there was no shortage of dancing on stage and amongst the crowd of Lincoln Hall.
With no current set list detail, there is not much to tell you beyond what was a musical journey, with choreography, improvisation, high-pitched vocals, and what I have never seen, an introduction to the lead member of the band. Barnes's brother came on stage after all of the band got in their respective spots, and hopped around in a quasi-skeleton or Spiderman jumpsuit, fully masked, and spoke to the audience on the notion of coming together for music.
Shortly after, Barnes came to stage and delivered an unrelenting, energetic, and funky-groove night that I could not help but keep moving from the band's first song. There was no moment of dead space or lacking surprise. The group brought three dancers at various points, dressed in styles ranging from aliens to blonde women and even Donald Trump impersonators. Their choreography and dancing with Barnes brought such a unique perspective to the show, something not many bands need to include in their performance.