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Of Montreal was joined by Susan Sarandon & Solange Knowles @ Highline Ballroom in NYC – pics & setlist

words & photos by Benjamin Lozovsky

Susan Sarandon punishes a pig
Of Montreal

Of Montreal didn’t come out with quite as many theatrics as usual during their show last night at Highline Ballroom. Playing a smaller venue than they’ve played before for a rabid all-ages crowd, they could have played motion and emotionless. The furor generated by their die-hard fan base would still rage mightily. Minus the strobe-lit crucifixion scene and the cameo by Susan Sarandon as a schoolteacher with a ruler and a streak of corporal punishment for two misbehaving pig characters, one could almost call it a mellow set visually. Oh and there was the confetti shooting machine, but that’s just normal nowadays at shows right?

Of Montreal member and tour-mate James Husband opened and showed flashes of promise, especially when his smooth and almost haunting voice gave way to energetic group breakdowns full of noise and unexpected developments.

Even despite Of Montreal’s minutely toned down performance act, musically the band sounded tight and focused, switching effortlessly from insidiously bubble gum sing-alongs to dark, discoed-out dance-hop material. All with the power and professionalism of a hardened rock band. Sporting one less musician on this tour meant none of the instrument swapping and running around that was such a presence at their last several New York City tour stops, and maybe that enabled a little more time for poise and togetherness amongst the members of the band. The band was augmented by one member for the encore, as indiephile Solange Knowles joined Of Montreal to play a chill, funky version of The Jackson Five’s “I want You Back.” Even that addition was just for musical engagement, no hoopla required. Maybe for Of Montreal, sometimes less is more.

Solange is one of a few collaborators announced for the next OM album. More pictures from Highline Ballroom, including one of the setlist, below…

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