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Of Montreal puts on pyschadelic showcase at The Lyric in Oxford

BY BRITTAIN THOMPSON

As expected, Georgia natives Of Montreal put on a show to remember this past Wednesday, playing through much of its expansive discography with the accompaniment of its signature psychedelic imagery and theatrics.

Before the opening act, Surface to Air Missive, began there was already a crowd of people camped out on the front row holding their place. By the time Of Montreal took the stage the crowd had filled out to reach the sound booth and was well packed in.

Opening with Bassem Sabry, the lead track from its latest album “Aureate Gloom,” Of Montreal had the crowd won over from the start. Come the hooks everyone was singing along, shouting with the band “I’ll never follow no kind of master’s voice.”

As Bassem Sabry approached its end, the entire crowd in The Lyric was dancing and joining lead singer and founder Kevin Barnes in the closing lines, “I believe in witches/ I believe in you,” as if both crowd and band were encouraging each other to put out as much energy as possible.

Not to lose any momentum they had gained with its opener, they dove into “Triumph of Disintegration” off of its album “Lousy With Sylvianbriar.” Defying reasonable expectations of how much energy a crowd of people can expel, the audience exploded into dance as the band launched into the chorus’s groove.

From there, the band ran through classics like “Suffer for Fashion” and “Empyrean Abattoir” before arriving at the halfway point of their set and playing the classic track “Bunny Ain’t No Kind Of Rider” that got the crowd jumping and shouting, almost over the band, “I need a lover with soul power/ and you ain’t got no soul power.”

Taking a small break after a few more songs Of Montreal let a dance track play that got the crowd, once again, even more energetic than previously expected. The track was accompanied by theatrics from the band’s dancers.

Of Montreal played through a few more songs before closing out the set with their dance-pop driven track, “A sentence Of Sorts In Kongsvinger,” that had everyone moving.

When the band walked off the stage the crowd instantly began asking for an encore. Of Montreal did not disappoint, launching into a three song encore of their biggest hits to date.

Though as of late they’ve been opening their set with “For Our Elegant Cast,” they held onto it for their first song in their encore. Being one of its more well-known songs, everyone in the crowd was singing along to their catchy chorus of “We can do it softcore/ But you should know I take it both ways.”

“Heimdalsgate Like A Promethean Curse” with its iconic chorus written to chemicals preceded their as of late usual closing song “She’s A Rejector.”

If you saw the show Wednesday then you were lucky enough to be a part of what will assuredly be one of the best concerts The Lyric hosts this fall. If you missed out then drop everything, pack your bags and get to Of Montreal’s next show.