WOW Tales: Of Montreal, with Tele Novella

Of Montreal, with Tele Novella

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Of Montreal, a quirky indie post-punk dance pop band from Athens, GA, with a whopping 19 albums since their inception in 1996, have become a mainstay at the WOW Hall. With their odd but danceable melodies and amazing light show they have become a favorite among Eugene audiences, and once again crowds came out in full nearly selling out the hall. The band traveled with three dancers that changed costumes for nearly every song along with their own light show setup and own sound technician, giving some of our tech team a bit of a break.

With an extended soundbooth out in front of our own that included a powerful projector displaying onto the stage's back-wall and a curtain added to our side-stage area to accommodate the many props and costume changes that took place throughout the show, this setup was a bit more detailed than a standard show. Also turning heads were the merch booths for both bands on the bill, which incorporated along with the standard vinyl and shirts included some fascinating artsy painted sculptures by Of Montreal, and from Tele Novella canisters which I believe were paint or some other liquid?

A large crowd meandered into the hall well in advance of the first song of the opening act - Tele Novella. This quintet are an indie dream pop band from Texas with a mellow, subtle sound akin to that of Belle & Sebastian, Stereolab, or The Magnetic Fields. The crowd were into them, getting a nice reaction to softly warm up the crowd before the shenanigans began once Of Montreal hit the stage. There was also a bit of a comical moment that drew laughs from both the band and the crowd when singer Natalie Gordon began one song halfway through their set, then suddenly stopped it a couple seconds in just as the band was scrambling to try to join in and adjust. "Well, I started that one in the wrong key...I just scared the whole band."

Starting promptly at 9:15 p.m. with Of Montreal frontman Kevin Barnes emerging from a giant box on stage as the three backing members began a thumping indie dance beat. Occasionally joining with guitar and other times prancing around the stage, on nearly every song a trio of accompanying dancers would emerge from the side of the stage in outlandish costumes loosely matching the theme of each song. For those unfamiliar with Of Montreal's well-earned reputation, their sound is very artsy, indie, odd, psychedelic, and very catchy. Picture if LCD Soundsystem, The Rapture, and the Flaming Lips all got together, took an absurd amount of LSD, then pressed record and let whatever happens happens...that's Of Montreal.

Each song was perfectly syncopated with an elaborate light show projected onto the band reminiscent of the acid trip concerts of the 1960s psychedelic movement, as the trio of dancers would re-emerge after quick costume changes to add to the trippy ambiance. This is modern art set to an indie dance beat, an incredible visual spectacle.

As the set neared its close and the crowd got more hyped Of Montreal unleashed an absurdly long balloon that wrapped all around the venue many times over stretching from the stage to the sound booth in the very back -- being held up and waved around by dancing, jubilant audience members. Photos and video highlights are available below.

Thank you to everyone who packed the WOW Hall tonight and our many staff and volunteers that make shows like this so successful. We'll see you next time at the WOW Hall.

-Kurt

WOW Hall Marketing Director

 

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