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Of Montreal with The Ruby Suns @ The HiFi 5-03-09

March 10, 2009

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I see Phil has already done a review of Golden Plains so I’ll just stick to writing about one of the best bands on the bill and the fantastic sideshow they played the other night. But first up were The Ruby Suns, probably my favourite band from New Zealand. I mean, I only know very few bands from New Zealand and have seen even less live but I’m pretty sure they couldn’t live up to The Ruby Sun’s brand of shimmering rhythmic pop. They seem to do fine with just the two people but they excel when they invite some guests up on stage to help out with drumming and bass or whatever. It makes me wonder if they should perhaps just get a permanent third member, I’m sure they’d still each have a lot to do and it could help fill out the mostly sample based sound. But in saying that, the two of them sill put on a catchy fun show as usual and the new stuff they played sounded great and quite danceable.

Of Montreal put on the show I was pretty much expecting. Exciting, different, theatrical and amazing. Front man Kevin Barnes was dressed in a multitude of colours and wearing some blue eye shadow while the rest of the band were similarly bright and fun to look at. Not to mention the projected images including an animated Jesus with a cartoon mouth in his stomach and other crazy things. There was almost no banter from the band and instead they preferred to express ideas with theatre. There was a man who’s job was, from what I could gather, helping the band express themselves by dressing up in weird stuff. He dressed up as a monk and delivered blessings before changing into the devil and later came out dressed in a pink leotard eating fruit he had stashed in his crotch during the sexually charged “Beware Our Nubile Miscreants”.

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The band almost exclusively stuck to playing tracks from their two newest albums which both have a strong electronic influence. There was a drum kit on stage but around half the tracks just used laptop beats instead, while the band did an amazing job of getting the sounds of the albums to work well live. I loved them opening with “We Were Born The Mutants Again With Leafling”, the dissonant chords and funky bass line blended so well to create a great atmospheric introduction to the band and the night. “She’s a Rejecter” was completely rad and my highlight with the whole front of the crowd busting some mad dance moves while Kevin wailed over synthy indie pop deliciousness. While “The Party’s Crashing Us Now” was a nice throwback to some of their earlier work.

The set list was one giant party and it all just flowed extremely well, never really letting up on the danceable beats. The band was tight and the crowd were all having such a good time, one of those shows where you are just so glad to be there and when you look around at people dancing you can’t help but smile. No dickheads, only good times and a fantastic vibe. Plus a man dressed up as a tiger and another guy dressed up as a dinosaur played a song together in the encore and it was pretty much the greatest song by a tiger and a brontosaurus ever.

(Thank you to Thao Du for the great photos)

The Ruby Suns Myspace
Of Montreal Myspace

One Comment leave one →
  1. Mollie permalink
    March 11, 2009 12:12 am

    Also Golden Plains was REALLY FUN!
    So there.

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