26 January 2010

of Montreal @ Ram's Head Live, Baltimore, 1/25/10

This show was announced mere weeks ago, which left virtually no time to contemplate attendance. It was of Montreal, though, so it was a bit of a no-brainer anyway. Not to mention, that this was one of the rare instances where a tour was starting in Baltimore as opposed to ending in Charm City. At first, I kind of scoffed at the notion of seeing Kevin Barnes & Co. at Ram's Head since it seems like just yesterday I was in high school seeing Dark Star Orchestra there or the Bridge or some other jam band related act. However, I also realized that I had seen both the Black Keys and the Hold Steady there which equaled two great times, and Gary has been there way more times than I have. He saw Built to Spill and the Meat Puppets on the same bill once, and he caught Blitzen Trapper this one other time. So with all factors considered, a trek to the city was made.
James Husband opened the show, but the show started at 8 while I was under the impression that it started at 9. The instant that I wrapped my hand around my first beer, the lights went dim and there was mild hoopla because everyone could see the shadowy figures that were gathering on stage. Then the lights went up and there was a band on stage, but it didn't look like of Montreal. It was four dudes with animal masks on. The one who held the microphone had white suit on and wore a fairly realistic looking tiger mask. They started playing instruments, but since they're animals all they could do was make noise. Then the real band came out on stage, and someone said "Enemy Gene" or something like that over the microphone. There were enormous screens hanging on the left and right sides of the stage behind the band. I sipped my beer.
There was so much guitar! They left the computers at home, and put on a rock and roll show. I was bowled over by the glam rock sound that was coming out of the speakers. It was glam rock for sure, and it was glam rock done properly. In 2010, it's damn near impossible to pull off glam when you have Lady Gaga to compete with. That's what people think of when you say 'glam' in this day and age. They either think of that, or Adam Lambert. And all that is really more 'glam pop' than anything else, regular people can't tell the fucking difference. T. Rex is a mere memory. (Writer's Note: That is a reference to '70s glam rock standard T. Rex a.k.a. Marc Bolan, and not the other kind of T. Rex. I'm aware that dinosaurs have been extinct for a long time.) However, the band from Georgia pulled it off last night. Kevin Barnes has a beard now, and on stage he looked like an amalgamation of Shaggy and Daphne from Scooby Doo. There wasn't a whole lot of stage banter, but at one point he said, "Dottie got a new vest, and Jamey got brand new shorts....and I got a new attitude." Cue next song.
In addition to the wild images being projected on screen, which at one point included an animated man and woman whose heads kept morphing into different animals while her jacket and his crudely drawn dick flashed different colors, there were roadies dressed like ninjas who had strobe lights and pictures glued on sticks and they kind of crawled all over the stage and at one point they wrapped Kevin in a green sheet so when you saw it on the screens it appeared that was being consumed by colors and swirls spiraling in formation.
I want to say that they played a new song, but the stage show had my mind in different places for long stretches. I was conscious the whole time, it's not like I was slanted or anything like that. There was a lot going on, and it may just be me, but the opening chords of the rock and roll version of "Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse" sounds striking similar to the beginning of the Sex Pistols' "God Save the Queen" which is pretty rad. They also covered the Jackson 5 to end the night. So, rad and awesome. "ABC" was a part of the encore, though. Before that happened, there was mock crucifixion. At least, I think that's what happened. Gary said that he thought it was just some S&M shit since they had him on an 'X' instead of a cross, but as some who survived the bizarre and debilitating world that is private school I happen to know that back in the day most people were done in on 'X's. None of that really matters now, but it was a pretty kick ass way to end a show.

No comments:

Post a Comment