By: Derek Jung
Kevin Barnes and gang have kept their touring regiment fairly consistent over their first twenty years of existence. Since I started following them five or so years ago, the band has made a yearly stop in Cincinnati to play. When I first saw them in 2012, it was at Madison Theater. Year by year though, their crowd has shrunk, and because of this, their past two visits have been at Woodward Theater, which is much smaller. But while the theaters have gotten smaller, the energy and theatrics of their live show are just as wild and sexually charged as ever.
Touring on their most recent release, Innocence Reaches, the band swept through two hours of songs from that album, Skeletal Lamping, as well as some from Hissing Fauna, Are You The Destroyer?. The thing that I've always liked about of Montreal is they transition from one song to another seamlessly. There are no breaks for water, tuning, or new instruments. If a band member needs to tune up or, in Barnes' case, change outfits, they just do it. There's always so much action going on between the music and the staged skits that it's hardly noticeable.
Speaking of the stage skits, the band is on a much lower budget than they were in years past, but they're still amusing and wildly sexual. Barnes himself often portrays female characters, blending his gender identity, and tonight was no different. Skit performers in skin suits with nipples painted on them danced around stage and with Barnes. Another actor later came on stage in a giant inflatable penis outfit wearing a Donald Trump mask. It's bizarre, intriguing, and sometimes hilarious. A few more memorable moments were when a two person possum costume (think a horse costume where one person is the head and another is the rear) fully equipped with blinking eyes and a movable mouth danced about on stage. This was followed by two actors dancing on stage with leaf blowers that had pouches that looked too similar to testicles to ignore the fact that when they blew feathers into the crowd, it was basically like them ejaculating. These skits are the highlight of the show for me, and why I invite friends to attend at least one of their shows, even if they don't enjoy the music.
Keep on being you, of Montreal.
Who are we?
Derek Jung and Joseph Kathmann -- Just two ordinary (debatable) guys that love talking about music. You can read more about us here: