Of Montreal brings some drama to Fall Fest

The second annual Fall Fest marked the midpoint of the fall semester with an explosion of art, dancing and catchy electropop.    A massive crowd crammed into Patrick Gymnasium to dance, crowd-surf and sing along to the headliners, Of Montreal.    Of Montreal’s set began with the flashy band arriving amidst a roar of applause and performing between two men dressed in camouflage and gas masks.The band’s poppy music clashed with the weird police-state vibe of the scene, but the men shortly tore off their camo and masks revealing brightly colored leotards.    Such skits were constantly occurring as Of Montreal performed. They ranged from a man with a dinosaur mask leaping onto another man to two men in pig costumes chasing each other around stage.A highlight was a thinly-veiled reference to Ingmar Bergman’s The Seventh Seal, in which a man plays a chess match with a personified Death.    Audience members disagreed about the impact these skits had.    “I liked the music enough, but the theatrical parts were just scary,” freshman MeganKelley said.For her and others, the masks were off-putting, the costumes ridiculous and the skits themselves shocking or crude.    UVM freshman Sebastian Downs wasn’t quite sure what to think of the skits.     “What was the deal with the theatrics?” he asked.  “It was interesting, but they were frankly just weird and distracting.”    Other audience members quite enjoyed the show’s theatrical tilt.    UVM sophomores Travis Gervais and Bryan Gagne agreed that the show was excellent. “The magic tricks, chess game and theatrics in general made it a great show,” Gervais said.”The only downside is the fact that it ended so soon,” Gagne said.    It was undeniably an interesting show. As the music played and the skits took place, a screen behind the band lit up with aslideshow composed of psychedelic animal drawings, colorful optical illusions, funny cartoons and modified video of the band taken from various angles.    The skits, slideshow and antics hid the music, but it wasn’t something that needed hiding. In fact, the audience generally agreed that the music was great.  “The stuff in the background was good, but the music was really awesome,” UVM senior Aaron Sully said. “The encore was spectacular.  When the music was loud and the crowd was loud — that was the best.”    Indeed, the encore summed up the entire night neatly. As the band played, the crowd sang along and clapped, Santa Claus and an elf ran onto stage, jumped off into the audience and ran into the masses. The band shot confetti into the crowd, and left the stage. The entire show, like the confetti, was an explosion of psychedelic color. The music and skits created, for better or worse, an experience that is not easily forgotten.