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Concert Review: Of Montreal – Boston, Massachusetts, March 11, 2007

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There are many people who don't have very high expectations of today's youth. Generation Y has been characterized as reclusive, narcissistic, selfish, and resentful. Drug usage and underage drinking are on the rise. Kids are beating the crap out of each other and posting the videos on YouTube.

Since Sunday night, however, I gained a renewed respect for our country's future leaders: These kids like good music. Looking out at Avalon's capacity crowd of teenagers (and a few of their chaperones), I spent some time recollecting what my peers listened to in high school. While Kris Kross, Right Said Fred, and Color Me Badd dominated the charts, my circle of friends was hooked on Stone Temple Pilots and still hanging on to Def Leppard – pretty depressing, actually. I like to think that if Of Montreal had been around when I was 14, I would have been a fan.

Sunday's concert at Avalon was the first time I'd experienced Of Montreal live, and it most likely will not be the last. The show was pure fun. Kevin Barnes and company demonstrated that their absurdity does not stop at their song titles (“We Were Born the Mutants Again with Leafling”), as the performance featured a three-headed dragon, Darth Vader, a creepy guy in a white body suit slithering around the stage, our fearless leader on a ladder wearing a 10-foot tall dress, and yes, a healthy dose of Barnes' alter-ego, Georgie Fruit (with numerous wardrobe changes).

Kevin Barnes, Of MontrealWith all of the band's antics, it would be understandable to overlook what they were doing musically, but, in this case, it is impossible. As a front man, Barnes has the complete package — charisma, style, dance moves, boundless energy, and extraordinary musical talent — and the rest of the band did a great job bringing his songs to life onstage.

The lively crowd shrieked and bounced in unison as Of Montreal opened with the irresistable "Suffer For Fashion." The group followed with "Sink The Seine," "Cato As A Pun," and "Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse," the first four tracks in order from Barnes' most recent masterpiece, Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?

I was hoping they'd continue and play the album from start to finish, but it wasn't meant to be. We were, however, treated to eleven out of the album's twelve tracks over the course of the evening. Highlights included the bubbly but tragic "Heimdalsgate," "A Sentence Of Sorts In Kongsvinger," "She's A Rejecter," and the downright nasty "Faberge Falls For Shuggie," which featured some interesting, um, performance art involving Barnes, the aforementioned white body suit guy, and three bananas. Let's just leave it at that.

The only missing song from Hissing Fauna was the hypnotic "The Past Is A Grotesque Animal," which I'm guessing was absent due to time constraints. Since the band's back catalog is so strong, it's understandable that the 12-minute opus would be on the chopping block. The crowd bubbled over with excitement upon hearing the sunny "Requiem For O.M.M.2" and the dance favorite, "The Party's Crashing Us." Another highlight was a rousing rendition of David Bowie's "Moonage Daydream."

Of Montreal was in top form from start to finish and put on a fantastic show. Their infectious pop spread euphoria throughout the entire club. By the end of the night even the chaperones were smiling.

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