Written by James Dillon
Feb 17, 2007 at 08:00 PM
ImageThe Elephant Six Collective has been responsible for some of the most impressive music of the past decade or so. Bands like Neutral Milk Hotel, Apples in Stereo, and Of Montreal, who played at Numbers on February 17th.

I had heard stories of what happens at Of Montreal shows, but I still wasn’t close to being prepared for the show that I saw Saturday night.
Costume changes, masks, fishnet stockings, and stage makeup made for one interesting evening.

After some difficulty at the door, which was quickly resolved by the always friendly door man at Numbers, I was inside and ready to enjoy the show. The dancing started before any musician took the stage, and even lasted after the last note was played. The opener for the evening, Elikibass, made their way onto the stage by way of walking throughout the crowd with masks and instruments.

After making there way around the venue, through the sold out crowd, the Japanese group took the stage and had the crowd’s attention until the very end. While the singer did not know very much English, he was a better showman than most front men I’ve seen. From sitting on the edge of the stage, practically in the crowd, to leading the capacity audience in clap along, they knew how to work a crowd.

They played their mix of almost zydeco, western, and rock and roll for almost an hour, and left the audience cheering for more. At the end of their set, the singer yelled “one more time!” at least five times before ending the amazing set. Most of the time I see performances like this, it strikes me as novelty, but these guys were genuine entertainers.

After Elikibass left the stage, the crowd danced to the songs being played by the DJ, which kept everyone dancing.

After what seemed like a bit lengthy break, Of Montreal took the stage, but not before they were warned by a member of their crew, that if everyone in the crowd wasn’t dancing they would “be killed”.

Finally, the members of Of Montreal took the stage one by one after having their silhouette projected on the background screen. Once all the members were on the stage, the music began and it did not stop for quite a while.
With every member dressed in their own costume of sorts, the show not only sounded great, but it was a lot of fun to watch.

The band played songs off their most recent release, as well as a few older songs. Singer, Kevin Barnes, made a couple of costume changes through out the show, leaving his band mates to improvise on stage. The showmanship continued the entire night, and hit it’s peak when a member of the crew brought out a ladder with a costume attached. Barnes climbed up into the costume as the crowd went nuts, and he continued on with the song.

The group announced they were going to play their “last” song of the evening, but before playing it they asked the audience to stick around and dance with them after the show, which apparently is a staple of their live shows. Of course they came back out to play three more songs, including “Disconnect the Dots”, and called it a night.

I couldn’t imagine how anyone could have left that show with anything but a huge smile on their face, after seeing such a live spectacle. Of Montreal is not only a band that people need to listen to, they are a band that people need to see live to feel the full effect of their music.