REVIEW: of Montreal Returns to the WOW Hall
Returning to Eugene on their first tour since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Kevin Barnes’ eclectic indie-pop band of Montreal brought their usual colorful and theatrical show to the WOW Hall on the evening of Sept. 16.
Previously, the band has performed at the WOW Hall twice: May 27, 2005 and Feb. 10, 2007. They last performed in Eugene during their Spring 2017 tour on April 14 at the former Hi Fi Music Hall.
Outside of the concert, the merchandise booth was covered with CDs, vinyl records, and, of course, the “Ummels:” one-of-a-kind artistic creations by Kevin Barnes’s brother, David a.k.a. “the Bee with Wheels,” who is also the band’s art director.
The show began at 8:30 p.m. with the opening act, Locate S,1, fronted by Kevin Barnes’ partner, Christina Schneider. After their set, David introduced his brother while in costume.
Then, Kevin Barnes, in drag, sprang out from the side of the stage and launched into “It’s Different for Girls” off of 2016’s Innocence Reaches. Backing Barnes was Ross Brand on bass, Clayton Rychlik on drums, and Jojo Glidewell on keyboards.
From there, the beginning of the set was a mix of newer, more electronic-heavy, material from White Is Relic/Irrealis Mood (2018), Ur Fun (2020), the self-released I Feel Safe with You, Trash (2021), and their most recent, Freewave Lucifer F<ck F^ck F>ck (2022). Notably, the packed crowd inside the WOW Hall had been keeping up with the band’s prolific output the last few years and sang along to each and every song.
There was also a healthy sprinkling of classics from 2007’s Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer? such as “Bunny Ain’t No Kind of Rider,” “We Were Born Mutants Again with Leafling,” and “Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse.”
The show ended with an encore of two more—absolutely fantastic—songs for the same album: “Suffer for Fashion” and “She’s a Rejecter.”
1. Lanc’s Theme
2. It’s Different for Girls
3. Marijuana’s a Working Woman
4. Paranoiac Intervals / Body Dysmorphia
7. This Is ExpOsed
8. Bunny Ain’t No Kind of Rider
9. Après Thee Dèclassè
10. Soft Music / Juno Portraits of the Jovian Sky
11. Aries Equals GoOd Trash
12. We Were Born Mutants Again with Leafling
13. True Beauty ForeveR
14. The Party’s Crashing Us
15. Gronlandic Edit
16. Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse
17. Suffer for Fashion
18. She’s a Rejecter