By: Derek Jung
Let's make one thing clear: I don't go to many punk rock shows. FIDLAR was one of my favorite performances at Lollapalooza this year, so I couldn't pass up seeing them at my home venue. What an experience it was.
First off, openers The Frights and SWMRS played some pretty standard pop punk. The latter of which features Green Day lead singer Billy Joe Armstrong's son on drums and was very, very coached in terms of their performance. The lead singer had a Matt Shultz of Cage the Elephant vibe in his dress with "Fuck Donald Trump" drawn on the front, and the guitarist did every cliched move in the book. All in all it was pretty ho hum, but the pit was definitely getting warmed up for the show to come.
FIDLAR took the stage to about a half capacity theater, which is pretty disappointing since they had been periodically selling out shows on their current tour, but that's Cincinnati for you. They immediately tore the roof off the venue with their cover of The Beastie Boys "Sabotage". From there it was 70 minutes of shredding through the hits from their first two albums. The audience ate it up, but we'll get there in a minute. The set was pretty similar to the one they played at Lollapalooza, but I wasn't expecting anything significantly different since they're on the same touring cycle. "Punks" is incredibly powerful live, and hearing everyone sing along to "Cheap Beer" and "Wake Bake Skate" was awesome.
The crowd, for being the size that it was, was absolutely insane. The pit was packed and churning with mosh pits through the entire set. Articles of clothing flew on stage so frequently that Brandon Schwartzel, the bassist tied about a dozen shoes to his mic stand in between songs. This, of course, encouraged more to be thrown on stage. I'm not sure moshing with bare feet is the best idea in the world, but I digress. Amongst the clothing being tossed were beer cans and water bottles, sometimes completely full and open. There was a nice, slick, sticky layer of filth on the pit floor after the show, which made me feel sorry for the staff of the newly renovated theater, but I guess it was to be expected. The moshing was much more intense than anything that we saw at Lollapalooza. A wall of death, contrary to the wall of hugs from Midpoint, actually looks very painful when witnessed in person, especially as bodies smack face first into each other at high speeds. Crowd surfing was a constant, and a few people even jumped from the second level onto the pit below. That's a drop of a good six or seven feet, people. Even one person managed to climb on stage and jump before security grabbed him. It was an amusing addition to the show, and definitely made it a memorable one to me.
Check out their cover of Sabotage from this year's Sziget Festival below.
By: Derek Jung
Despite having no new material since their 2013 album Evil Friends, Portugal. The Man is back on the road and looking as good as ever. Known for their powerful, energetic live shows, the band brought the house down at Madison Theater, but not before giving a shout out to former Cincinnati/Covington venue The Mad Hatter. Despite the lack of new material, it did not look to have a large effect on the size of the crowd that came out on a chilly November weekday.
Having never seen them before, I was immediately surprised at the show dynamics. First, the stand up comedian Adam Tod Brown was the first opener. While his act is relatively low brow humor, it was a something to witness before an indie rock band. But wait! He wasn't the only opener. After a quick DJ set by the band's hype man (we'll return to this in a bit), German rapper Casper came out and performed a unexpectedly wild set. So let's quickly recap up to this point. We've had a stand up comedian, a DJ set, and a foreign rapper open up for an indie rock band. Totally bizarre.
After all of that was finished, the hype man returned to the stage to introduce Portugal. The Man. He then proceeded to stay on stage the entire set and interject various "put your hands up" or "make some fucking noise" or [insert pump up phrase here]. It was the cherry on top of one of the strangest shows I've seen for what I came into thinking would be a fairly straight forward set. With all of that static, the question remains. How was the band?
In short, pretty darn great. The performance was tight. Nothing seemed stale or overplayed. In fact, the band was noticeably having a good time. At one point towards the end of the set, the band's manager(?) ran on stage and shoved mushroom-laden chocolate straight into each band member's mouth. Like I said, bizarre! The on stage banter was pretty light, thus the need for the hype man to interact with the crowd, but I didn't feel like anything was lost from it. All in all it was an enjoyable set. The band had a great mash up of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall Part 2" with "Purple Yellow Red Blue" as well as an Always Sunny in Philadelphia reference of "Dayman Song" as the intro to "So American". It was so cool I posted a video of it below. John Baldwin Gourley's vocals are surprisingly on point to where it sounds on the record. I'm looking forward to hearing some new material from them. Hopefully this coming year.
Watch the band play "So American" and "People Say" on KEXP from 2013 below. Again, the Always Sunny reference in the intro is amazing.
By: Derek Jung
As with any election season, many celebrities and bands have voiced their opinions for any who are willing to listen. The National have, throughout their career, been very vocal supporters of Democratic candidates. Four years ago, they played a "Get Out The Vote" concert in support of President Obama's reelection campaign at the historic Emery Theatre in downtown Cincinnati, and eight years ago they played on Fountain Square for the same cause. This year, they returned in support of Hillary Clinton at Washington Park.
Despite little advertising outside of their social media pages, a moderately large crowd gathered on an unseasonably warm November evening in Cincinnati. After a few speeches in support of the Democratic platform, including one by National Treasure and Hangover star Justin Bartha, The National took the stage to a surprisingly less than enthusiastic crowd. In fact, this was a theme throughout the show - a general lack of energy and excitement for a free show from one of the biggest indie rock acts in the world. Frankly, it was a little disappointing.
The band played well though, despite having muted guitars in the sound mix. Since they haven't released any new material since 2013's Trouble Will Find Me, their setlist was pretty standard. I was particularly excited that they played "About Today" from 2004's Cherry Tree EP; it's one of my favorite live compositions by the band and always a thrill to experience the slow build and glorious finale. Part of me was hoping for "Peggy-O" or "Morning Dew" from their fantastic Grateful Dead covers box set Day of the Dead that was released earlier this year, but no such luck was had. Lead singer Matt Berninger was light of the political discourse during the set, but jokingly tried to make connections with some of the song titles. While some would argue that there isn't much hope left in this election, I have hope for a new National album in 2017.
Check out the full setlist below and watch a local news segment on the concert. Yours truly makes an appearance in a plaid shirt around 1:24.
Don't Swallow the Cap
Sea of Love
I Need My Girl
This Is the Last Time
By: Joseph Kathmann
It's hard to put into words what I just saw, but whatever it was I liked it. I liked it a lot. This show was an absolute blast to watch, featuring one of the most energetic and passionate crowds I have ever seen. Everyone was dressed up and having the time of their lives. Even though I suspect that a large portion of the crowd were not die-hard Here Come the Mummies fans, this crowd simply just loved music, and it set a new standard for what I hope to see from a crowd at any show going forward.
Opening for Here Come the Mummies was Japanese punk band Peelander-Z. This was a very odd choice for Here Come the Mummies, but it was also a sign of just how good this crowd was going to be. I'm sure none of them came to this show expecting to hear Japanese punk music, but the band was able to get them into their show nonetheless. There were some really weird antics throughout this 45 minute set, featuring a lot of signs, what appeared to be bringing random people from the audience on stage to play drums and guitar, and a flash dance party in the middle of the crowd. I wasn't too particularly keen on this set, particularly when their final song felt like it took about 10 minutes to end. I kid you not, their "big rock ending" to their set lasted 10 minutes. It was certainly a bit much, but the crowd didn't mind.
Following an awesome costume contest that featured some trees, (with lights) The Dude, and Colonel Sanders with a big bucket of chicken, Here Come the Mummies took the stage. Featuring their trademarked mummy garbs, the band began their set in unique fashion with a drum intro and march through the crowd similar to a marching band as everyone in the band had on various percussion instruments. The band opened with "My Party" and never looked back, tearing through a ridiculous 2+ hour set. The band had antics all throughout the show, and their antics reminded me of my days in college marching band and pep band, (hooooo!) so I was having a blast along with everyone else. The crowd was electric, dancing and groove through every moment of the 20+ songs. Sure, the songs are pretty shallow and nearly every one has to do with sex, but the crowd didn't care. Watching Colonel Sanders dance with his bucket of chicken was awesome, and even the trees were getting into it. I don't think I've ever seen trees move that much.
Ultimately, this was one of the coolest sets I have ever seen. This set was the kind of set I dreamed about coming to Nashville, and while there were definitely a fair amount of external factors that impacted and raised the overall vibe of this show, but the explosiveness and intensity of Here Come the Mummies was pivotal as well. I definitely want to see these guys again to see just how much of a role these external factors played, but as is this set is right there with Prophets of Rage for my favorite set during my time here in Nashville.
Check out a video of "Ra Ra Ra" below.
By: Joseph Kathmann
On a cold southern night in a tiny, packed, venue, Nothing But Thieves followed up their strong Lollapalooza set (which I called one of my favorite sets of the festival) with another gem. I cannot emphasize this enough: go out and see them right now. You will not get the chance to see them at a tiny club like Exit/In for much longer. The vibe of this small venue definitely helped to feed the energy of the band too.
First, though, was The Wreks. There was another opener, The Roads Below, but unfortunately I missed them because I showed up 25 minutes late and they only had a 20 minute set. While it was tough to really get a feel for The Wreks because they themselves only played for about 25 minutes, they did everything they could to convert some new fans in that short span. I think they did, because here's one person who wants to see them again. They clearly threw a lot of ideas against the wall, and while not all of those ideas stuck, the ones that did were quite impressive. I hope to see them again soon.
Then came Nothing But Thieves. They exploded through the gates with my favorite song of their namesake debut album, "Itch," and kept the intensity going through most of their short 55 minute set. However notice I said most there. There was one misstep in the exact middle of the set. During this brief 3 or 4 song interlude, the band slouched through a couple of their weaker deep tracks, and also trotted out a new song that took everything that made their debut album so great, and did the exact opposite. This new song was easily the low point of the show, but I am not at all worried about what this means long term. Because the rest of their set was just that good. Highlighted by their hit "Trip Switch" as well as "Painkiller," Nothing But Thieves successfully reminded me why I am so confident in their future. They were even able to turn one of my least favorite songs on their debut, "If I Get High," into a great and emotional ballad toward the end of the set. They may still only have one album to their name, but the quality of their music and already-refined live show makes them poised to take the music world by storm in short order. Check them out now before they're forced to play at larger venues.
2) Honey Whiskey
5) Graveyard Wedding
6) Drawing Pins
7) Six Billion
8) New Song (unknown name)
10) Excuse Me
11) Wake Up Call
12) If I Get High
13) Trip Switch
14) Ban All the Music
If you need more convincing, check out Nothing But Thieves performance of "Trip Switch" below.
By: Derek Jung
Celebrating their debut full length debut release, Dawg Yawp took the stage at MOTR Pub a little after 11 on a comfortable fall Friday evening in downtown Cincinnati. The reasonably small bar was packed to capacity for one of the most hyped new bands in the city, and one that's also has been receiving notice from NPR's Bob Boilen amongst others. I've been following the band since I saw them perform during an intermission at MusicNOW Festival this year, and their performance this summer at Bunbury was one of our favorites of the early afternoon acts.
The band performed pretty much every song off the new album, many of which were teased on their EP Two Hearted earlier this year. Tyler Randall's sitar playing was just what the shoulder to shoulder crowd needed. It was hot, stuffy, and sweaty in there, and songs like "Lost At Sea" conjured up images of traversing seas of sand in the deserts of northwestern India. It was a special atmosphere and the excitement was palpable from both the band and those gathered to see them.
Since it's only the duo on stage, songs like "Can't Think" and "Dawg", which have electric guitars and percussion, take new forms live. Guitarist Rob Keenan spends much of his time on a sound board, pressing buttons that hold sound samples for each instrument that can't be played live. On one hand, it's unique and different, but on the other it's a little boring to watch him press buttons. While their gracious nature evokes a lot of good will from the crowd, especially in Cincinnati, I want to see them work on their showmanship, and I think - unpopular opinion time - that having live backing musicians would be a fantastic addition to their set and give them the freedom to expand their songwriting moving forward.
All things considered, it was a great showcase of the album, and they have a bright, successful future ahead of them.
Check out a live performance of "Can't Think" from WNKU's Studio 89 below.
What a polarizing show. On the one hand, Prophets of Rage is a clear and obvious cash-grab. Their "edgy" message can be summed up as "Donald Trump is bad. So we're doing this." and the openers were absolutely terrible. We'll get to those, because despite these major shortcomings, it has been a LONG time since I've had this much fun at a show. Why? Simple. Because Rage Against the Machine is THAT good. Even though B-Real left much to be desired and Chuck D was just average, the instrumentation of Rage's Tom Morello, Brad Wilk, and Tim Commerford more than made up for it. Basically, this is Rage Against the Machine's show, and fortunately for all of us all the members of Prophets of Rage knew it.
The night started out slow. Opener and total unknown Wakrat was hugely disappointing, and couldn't find the "edge" they were trying to deliver and instead were just downright offensive at points, with one of their big songs being a clear and obvious anthem for school shooters. After the lackluster opener, we saw the remains of the once-superstar band AWOLNATION. (Author's note: I am currently providing the merch for AWOLNATION) All the stories about Aaron Bruno are true. Sadly, there is little talent nowadays with Bruno and his band, as it can basically be summed us as "Aaron Bruno screams uncontrollably for 45 minutes" with the sole bright spot of the set being the obvious, "Sail." At least during "Sail" Bruno allowed the rest of his band to come out a bit versus trying to drown them out with his terrible vocals like he did during the rest of the set.
But I knew all I had to do was bide my time, and fortunately I was not disappointed. After opening with the lackluster and predictable "Prophets of Rage," the crew tore into a cover of "Guerrilla Radio" and never looked back. The explosive 18 song set was capped by a surprise appearance by Nashville locals Dan Auerbach (of The Black Keys) and Matt Shultz (of Cage the Elephant) during the encore to play a cover of Rage's Kick Out the Jams and featured a host of Rage covers, as well as a few Cyprus Hill and Public Enemy covers. Prophets of Rage even played a few covers of other bands, including Beastie Boys popular "No Sleep Till Brooklyn." This was also the problem, however. Despite a fantastic set, the entire show felt incredibly superficial. Like I said before, the banter was simple, and even Tom Morello failed to incite any sort of rebellious mood. The only time the group was edgy was when it performed its famously edgy songs. Yes, "Killing in the Name Of" is still one of the most controversial songs of all-time, but its authors have clearly sold out to the establishment. Fortunately, the instrumentation of Rage Against the Machine was so good that I didn't care.
1) Prophets of Rage
2) Guerrilla Radio (RATM Cover)
3) Bombtrack (RATM Cover)
4) People of the Sun (RATM Cover)
5) How I Could Just Kill a Man (Cypress Hill Cover)
6) Take the Power Back (RATM Cover)
7) Testify (RATM Cover)
8) DJ Lord Break
9) Sleep Now in the Fire (RATM Cover)
10) Calm Like a Bomb (RATM Cover)
11) Bullet in the Head (RATM Cover)
12) Shut 'Em Down (Public Enemy Cover)
13) Know Your Enemy (RATM Cover)
14) The Party's Over
15) No Sleep Till Brooklyn/Fight the Power (Beastie Boys/Public Enemy Mashup)
16) Kick Out the Jams (RATM Cover) (with Dan Auerbach and Matthew Shultz)
17) Killing in the Name (RATM Cover)
AUTHOR'S NOTE: I provided all the merch for this festival this year
This was such a polarizing festival for me. On the one hand, the atmosphere was everything I hoped it would be. These hippie festivals always have great vibes, and from start to finish Pilgrimage certainly did not disappoint. However, at the same time there were a significant number of growing pains, and a lot of logistical details that made me want to pull out my hair and scream WHAT ARE YOU DOING? This review, since it's coming several weeks after the festival, will simply be a discussion versus highlighting the good and the bad. I do not feel I was able to see enough of the acts at the festival to create an ordinary festival review.
That said, I will say Beck was in an entirely different zip code than the rest of the acts of the festival, but this is more of a credit to how talented Beck is. If you ever get the opportunity to see Beck and enjoy live music, see him. Even if you hate his music, his show is more than worth seeing.
In stark contrast to 90's star Beck, you have 90's star Cake. I don't know what happened with this set, but John McCrea had clearly woken up on the wrong side of the bed that morning because he was extremely grumpy from start to finish during this set, and it really rubbed me the wrong way. I did not remember McCrea being that negative during his performance at Bonnaroo a few years back.
But I want to talk about logistics. So, I gave Pilgrimage a free pass last year. I don't think anyone anticipated them being as successful as they were, but then this year rolls around and naturally they should be ready for it, right? Well.....not quite. While there weren't any ridiculous decisions, there were a lot of things here and there that really didn't make sense. Like why was there only one single file stairwell to get to and from the Harpeth River stage? It made for some pretty ridiculous bottlenecks when those bands were just starting or finishing their sets. To make this decision even more ridiculous, last year there were two entrances to this stage, but....they decided that with the rise in popularity....they would shut down one of those entrances? Totally makes sense. Getting in and out of the festival was a little difficult too, but I think that was more the result of people not knowing where the additional exits were besides the main one. The crew also ran out of maps pretty early on, which was surprising.
Also, and this was by FAR the biggest complaint of most, was the water. There were only two or three water stations spread out across the grounds, and none of them had good water pressure. Not to mention the water was extremely warm. Festival planners (and The Park at Harlinsdale Farm) need to improve the water issues next year or the growth of the festival will definitely be stifled.
However, at the end of the day, Pilgrimage did make some pretty noticeable steps to improve the overall experience, and it's setting is still just a gorgeous as it was last year. Watching the sun set behind Beck and Jason Isbell was a site to behold, and easily worth the cost of admission by itself. The overall quality of the acts were definitely better than last year, with plenty of gems hidden on the off-the-beaten-path Harpeth River stage too. Even Darryl Hall & John Oats were a good festival closer, despite being a last second addition. Now that Justin Timberlake has bought a major stake in his hometown festival, I can't wait to see what's in store next year. I know I will be making the Pilgrimage again in 2017.
Oh, and the merch was awesome. In case you were wondering.
By: Derek Jung
Midpoint Music Festival has been a staple of Over The Rhine in Cincinnati for over a decade, albeit in various incarnations. Most recently, the festival featured an all ages main stage in Washington Park and smaller 21+ shows in bars and theaters around the neighborhood. I've been going to the festival since 2012 when I first turned 21, and it quickly became one of my favorite weekends of the entire year. The festival is known for music discovery, and it wasn't uncommon to be walking down the street and be drawn inside a tiny bar by a band playing to a dozen or so people.
This year's festival, however, saw a change in format that condensed the festival to three main stages in a parking lot and a smaller free stage that featured mostly local artists. Many, including myself, were apprehensive of this change, and some argued that it was so different from the original spirit of the festival that it needed to be called something different. I decided to give the new format a chance. Here are my thoughts on the good, the bad, and the WTF of this year's MPMF.
Band of Horses
Sunday night's headliner were the perfect ending to the weekend's up and down adventure. Fresh off the release of their new album, Why Are You OK, Ben Bridwell and gang put forth everything they could muster in their nineteen song, hour and a half performance. Blazing through five songs from the new album including lead single "Casual Party", the band challenged legendary rocker Bob Mould for the biggest wall of sound produced that weekend. Bridwell's distinct voice echoed off the surrounding buildings and parking garage where many non-festival goers were watching. The band made good use of the largest crowd of the weekend, channeling the energy into one of the more entertaining performances of the weekend. Hearing one of my favorite songs "Cigarettes, Wedding Bands" live was special to me, and many in the crowd were stoked to hear hits like "The Funeral", "Is There A Ghost", and "No One's Gonna Love You". The on stage banter was minimal, but Bridwell was quick to give an appreciative "Thanks, y'all!".
Thank you, Band of Horses. Thank you.
Frank Turner & The Sleeping Souls
English singer-songwriter Frank Turner brought his full band to Midpoint on Sunday evening and proceeded to melt the faces off of everyone in attendance with their blend of irish punk and gritty folk rock. Turner had some of the most fun on-stage banter of the festival, and generally seemed to be having a blast performing. One of the memorable moments was when he had the crowd create a circle pit during "Out of Breath" and before performing "Photosynthesis", he lamented about not being in the band Slayer but really wanting to be. To fulfill his Slayer dreams, he wanted to do a "wall of death", but instead of running and bashing into each other, the crowd was instructed to hug the person across from them, thus dubbed the "wall of hugs". It was quite the scene, and yes, I hugged a few extremely sweaty strangers. Worth it.
It's been a summer of turbulence for the Scottish indie rockers. Soon after Joseph and I saw some of their set at Lollapalooza, lead singer Scott Hutchison had a massive Twitter meltdown and checked himself into rehab for a bit, forcing the band to cancel their next few appearances. Fast forward a few months and the band is back on the road and sounding better than ever. Thundering through their 45 minute set, they spent most of their time playing songs off of this year's Painting of a Panic Attack. They were focused, sharp, and ferocious. Much better than when they played at Lollapalooza, and easily one of the highlights of Saturday night for me.
Langhorne Slim & The Law
The inclusion of Antibalas on this list has nothing to do with how the band played, their talent, or their stage presence. Their inclusion has everything to do with the crowd. The smaller Friday evening crowd quickly grew bored of the extensive jamming and repetitive nature of Antibalas' music. After an extremely hot afternoon of roasting in the sun, I don't think anyone had it left in them to dance and groove with them. I know I didn't. They were probably the biggest casualty of the parking lot environment, but certainly not the only ones. Sorry fellas.
JJ Grey & Mofro
Another band that was completely misplaced on this year's bill, JJ Grey & Mofro had the smallest crowd for a headliner, and it was on Saturday night. Not only was the crowd lackluster, but the energy mustered by those in attendance did nothing to liven the dated sound of the band. As someone who really likes neo-soul, dirty blues, and classic rock, I found the band to be ho-hum, generic, and uninspired. The man has a great bluesy, soulful voice, but the songs were no better than any that I've seen at a local blues night at a bar. There was no standout musician to feature; the guitars were subdued with minimal soloing. The focus was on Grey, and unfortunately he didn't have enough to keep my attention.
The James Hunter Six
Personally, I really enjoyed Future Islands' set. For not having any new material to tour on, the crowd was extremely receptive to the songs from their 2014 massive hit album Singles. For those that were uninitiated to Future Islands, though, they were in for quite a surprise when lead singer Samuel T.'s signature live growl made its first appearance. There were quite a few drunken imitations throughout the crowd for the rest of the evening. But you know what they say: imitation is the highest form of flattery. Right?
Samuel T. is definitely the heart and soul of the band. Grumbling from one side of the stage to the other, his mannerisms are violent, heartfelt, and purposeful. I was immediately entranced by the way he carried himself on stage and the way he expertly portrayed each song's story. I can't wait to hear what new material they're working on. They played a few to give us a taste. I want more.
Overall it's hard to pin down how I feel about this new incarnation of the festival. From someone who's been going to this festival since I was old enough to attend, it hurts (both physically and spiritually) to be stuck in a blacktop parking lot all day for three days. I will never forget the great bands that I happened upon in bars that turned into some of my favorites: Mr. Elevator and the Brain Hotel at MOTR Pub, multiple bands at Arnold's and Mr. Pitiful's, and The Drinkery. Midpoint this year felt so sterile compared to years past, and you could feel that energy in the veterans who attended. For first time attendees, they probably experienced something similar to Bunbury, except more compact and less grassy. They probably enjoyed it. Why wouldn't they? The bands as a whole were great, the food options were fantastic, and even the beer selection was better than ever.
But for the rest of us, something essential was missing. It wasn't until the evening, as the sun set just below the surrounding buildings and it started to cool off, that I finally felt the energy of the Midpoint return. Not all of it, but just enough to give me hope that someday it will return. I think the festival organizers heard our complaints loud and clear. Whether they do something with them is another question altogether, but I don't think the festival will receive the support that they need going forward if changes aren't made. The parking lot, which sloped down away from the stage, was not conducive to watching, especially for shorter attendees. The WNKU stage heard everything that happened on the two main stages, and it really took away from some of the bands' experiences. Langhorne Slim timed his slow songs in between the thunderous bass of Tokyo Police Club. Dead Horses, HOOPS and Oh Pep! looked visibly annoyed with the sound bleed and complained that they couldn't hear themselves play.
Beyond that, things went better than expected.
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: