Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Of Montreal, unplugged.

Last night I convinced Beau, fellow indie music fan trapped in OK, to attend the Of Montreal concert at OU. If you have to are fortunate enough to live in the Sooner State, Norman is the place to be as there is a large public university. Otherwise, your entertainment would be limited to 24 hour Wal-Mart Super Centers and rodeos. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

We arrive at what appears to be a skinny jean convention (hipsters west of the Mississippi and south of the Mason-Dixon line?) and suffer through the opening band, which I have blocked out. [Oh, I almost forgot. The show sold out, so the guy in charge of the venue was asking those with empty seats next to them to identify themselves. Of course, no one was sitting next to me. I raise my hand. This scruffy kid sits down. He's wearing shorts, a trench coatish type thing and very shaggy hair. Then he says my name. It's none other than elementary/middle/high schoolmate, Josh Jones (of the Evangelicals). He's too high to talk, he says, but I'm to find him after the show. Ah, concerts.] Beau and I reminisce about the last time we saw each other, which we don't remember, as the crew sets up for OM. This takes forfreakingever. In the meantime, there's some scuffle with a kid and campus security which delays things even further. Finally, they give up and the show starts. Sort of.

OM plays 1.5 songs when there's a bit of a sound malfunction and Barnes turns all of their stuff (drum machine thingy, screens, amps, etc) - and he's clearly a bit pissed. Some crew guy comes out, makes some adjustments, then they try again. It's a no go. I think the try one more time, but the drummer throws a stick across the stage signaling defeat. Barnes asks the audience to be patient and wait a few more minutes while they figure something out. Ok, technology is imperfect, I understand.

Chairs are brought out, mics are lowered, acoustic guitars are unearthed. If you are familiar with OM at all, and I'm no expert, their music + acoustic guitar is like Britney winning mother of the year or knowing her children's names. But, you know what? These guys made some drinkable lemonade out of electronic lemons. The band took it all in stride, did their best and had, what I assume to be, a few improvised moments, including a lovely rendition of "Harvest Moon" and what turns out to be both mine and Kevin Barnes' favorite Beatles song, "I Will" (remember that, future boyfriend out there). The only truly shitty thing about the situation were the kids majoring in douchebag behind us. I really don't revel in using that word, but there isn't another to describe the retardedness of their conversations, which mainly consisted of the repetition of "awesome." One chick managed to lose her phone twice and then make out with the alpha douche. Really? At an Of Montreal concert? I'm all about making out, but still. These assholes would not shut the fuck up. Fortunately, Beau has some balls and told them so. Politely, of course. We're not animals.

OM rounded out their "performance" with a little audience participation. Those who knew the lyrics to "Tim I Wish You Were Born A Girl" were invited on stage for an a cappella version. Hippies danced. End of show. It's kind of like we paid $10 to watch them practice and hang out, but oh well. It was a concert going experience I won't soon forget. Mostly because I was sober.


Sample: Little Rock

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