April 30, 2017
Wearing a platinum-blonde wig, glittering eye shadow, orange mini skirt and matching crop top, of Montreal’s frontman Kevin Barnes turned Neighborhood Theatre into a visually stunning dance party Saturday night.
The experimental group from Athens, Georgia, was one of the headlining acts of Reverb Fest 5, which took place April 29 across four venues in Plaza Midwood and Noda. For the festival’s fifth installment, organizer Phil Pucci booked more than 10 acts from Charlotte and along the East coast.
Opening for of Montreal was JMSN (pronounced ‘Jameson’), hailing from Eastpointe, Michigan. The R&B singer got the crowd grooving with his soulful slow jams, also making time for individual guitar, bass and drum solos.
The energy in the room spiked immediately when of Montreal took the stage. The band’s hour-long performance featured dizzying lights and projections, back up dancers in eccentric masks and costumes, and a small explosion of feather confetti from the mouth of a dragon puppet. The band played their hits such as “Let’s Relate” and “Gronlandic Edit” as Barnes bounced and gyrated across the stage, making four outfit changes throughout the show.
The festival continued on at Snug Harbor and The Station. Charlotte band Hectorina was like a palette cleanser following of Montreal’s theatrics. Hectorina’s sparse but dynamic post-punk set kept the Snug Harbor crowd captivated.
Earlier in the day, Charlotte alt-rock-neo-soul band LeAnna Eden & The Garden Of kicked off Reverb Fest at Lunchbox Records. Charleston duo Tape Waves brought their blissed-out dream pop to the record store as well.
Pucci recently told CLTure he hopes to extend next year’s festival over two or three days and bring in more electronic acts as well. “I don’t have any direction in mind as to how big I want to make it, I just have to see what I can pull off,” Pucci said. With five Reverb Fests under his belt, the Charlotte music festival is definitely headed in the right direction.
More about Reverb Fest.