There are a few relatively unpredictable bands out there and of Montreal definitely fits into that category. The category of, you never know what you’re going to get, aside from the fact that it’s always good.
I’m not only referring to their erratic and sometimes bizarre stage presence either. They have an interesting large body of work, with earlier albums sounding more like the Beatles too a much more experimental sound. I’ve always admired of Montreal’s experimental tendencies and ability to change the set with each show.
The night had already started off right with special guests Foxygen and Wild Belle. Both tough acts to follow, and if you haven’t heard of either you probably will in the near future. Anyways, I had no doubt in my mind that of Montreal was going to deliver an unforgettable performance. They were joined on stage by what appeared to be wrestlers tossing out balloons, opening with “Our Love is Senile” from their latest compilation album Daughter of Cloud and “L’age D’or” from thecontrollersphere.
Throughout the evening the light show was vibrant and complimented the array of creatures, large inspects, rabbits and other interesting objects on stage. I noticed, frontman, Kevin Barnes played significantly more guitar than previous shows I’ve attended this year. Out of pure speculation multi-instrumentalist Kishi Bashi, who is currently touring for his album 151a, absence was the reason. Either way it was a nice surprise. Speaking of surprises, they didn’t play anything from their most recent LP Paralytic Stalks, however it wasn’t problematic and was made up for with other material such as the piano driven ballad “Touched Something’s Hollow” into “An Eluardian Instance” from Skeletal Lamping.
Other crowd pleasers and two personal favorites included, “Enemy Gene” and “Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games.” This was about the same time I felt the floor vibrating up and down from the audience dancing. As expected, the end of the set included crowd surfing wrestlers and feathers falling from above as they went into “Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse”, “Gronlandic Edit” and “A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger” all from the classic Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer.
They concluded with “Suffer for Fashion,” She’s a Rejector” and “The Past Is A Grosteque Animal” for the encore. You can always count on of Montreal to deliver an unforgettable experience from their unpredictable, yet solid setlist to the visually striking stage performance. As expected, of Montreal returned to Milwaukee to deliver an incredible show and if you have never seen them I would encourage you to do so.
1. Our Love is Senile
2. L’age D’or
3. Beware Our Nubile Miscreants
4. For Our Elegant Caste
5. Touched Something’s Hollow
6. An Eluardian Instance
7. Micro University
8. Enemy Gene
9. Wraith Pinned to the Mist and Other Games
10. You Do Mutilate?
11. Hydra Fancies
12. Plastis Wafers
13. Oslo in the Summertime
14. Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse
15. Gronladic Edit
16. A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger
17. Suffer For Fashion
18. She’s a Rejector
19. The Past Is A Grotesque Animal