Leading off: I'm not sure if I will ever find the words to adequately describe what I saw on Saturday at the Riviera Theater. It was rock. It was pop. It was dance. It was art. It was pop-rock-dance-art, I suppose. It was like the circus had come to town. At times it reminded me of old Genesis concerts, where Peter Gabriel would don elaborate costumes to sing various musical numbers. Except in this case, there were people dressed as pigs, people in bodysuits, giant anteaters, baby skeletons, silver things that looked like aliens or robots.
Don't get me wrong, it was a wonderful, theatrical experience. Sonically, it could have better if the sound wasn't a little muddy in the rafters where I was sitting. Thus, it was tough to absorb the full effect, because the lyrics are so much a part of the band's message.
Nonetheless, it was quite a fascinating peak into the mind of Kevin Barnes, who for all purposes is of Montreal. He writes, records, and produces (all except for the most recent album) all the the band's music in his Athens, Georgia home studio. He tours with an entourage of friends and collaborators. His brother David, who designs the album artwork, also assisted with the staging.
Most of the songs were from the latest release, "False Priest." The encore consisted of Michael Jackson's "Thriller," Wanna Be Starting Something," and "PYT."
Setlist (courtesy of setlist.fm)
Our Riotous Defects
Girl Named Hello
Around the Way
Casualty of You
A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger
The Party's Crashing Us
Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse
Michael Jackson Medley
The middle of the order: I watched the pilot episode of ABC's new police drama "Detroit 1-8-7." The producers are attempting to make a gritty, realistic, portrayal of homicide detectives on the beat in a Motor City neighborhood. The show has the look and feel of a documentary, and obviously some of the footage was shot in Detroit (witness the interstate 94 and 75 signs.) However, the credits made it appear that some of the casting was done in Atlanta and Chicago. I don't know if the filming was done there as well, but from the opening scenes with Stevie Wonder's "Higher Ground" and "Poppa Was a Rolling Stone," the mood was certainly set. The pilot also had a nice twist at the end. There have been a few comments online about some of the dialogue and one of the characters, but otherwise the response seems positive. I will definitely keep watching, especially because of the casting of James McDaniel (NYPD Blue) and Michael Imperioli (The Sopranos, Life on Mars, and the tequilla commercials.) The reality is enhanced by the use of bleeped out comments and pixilated obscuring of the characters uttering the obscenities.
The bottom of the order: I finally made it to the end of the summer season of "Burn Notice." That show gets better with every viewing. Sometimes it was hard to figure who the "good" government guys and the "bad" government guys are, as Michael Weston tries to piece together who "burned" him. The other "burned" spy, Jesse Porter, figured out the role Weston played in his own ousting, and disappears, just as the group is closing in on the international arms dealer and war profiteer (played by Terminator 2's Robert Patrick.) The show's season cliffhanger is a bloody trail of bullets, explosions, and a stolen briefcase. "Burn Notice" returns in November with all new episodes. Check this out and get caught up. They're only in season four.