Oneohtrix Point Never Lights up Brooklyn With Visually Dazzling Show: Concert Review

One of the challenges for electronic-music artists who aren’t making dance music is how to put on a compelling live show. The answer, of course, is to serve up not just exciting music but visuals as well, and at a packed Paramount Theater in Brooklyn on Friday, as usual, Oneohtrix Point Never (aka Daniel Lopatin) delivered.

The concert — occurring at the end of a three-week tour that saw him sprawling 15 dates ranging between Paris, Seattle and Coachella — opened with a set from Pedagogy (the duo comprised of Eli Keszler and Nate Boyce) followed by “Sarah Squirm,” aka “Saturday Night Live” player Sarah Sherman. The latter’s comedy set was entertaining but here’s a tip for venues combining music and comedy: turn down the vocal mics for the comedians. Her voice was blasting over the speakers at an excruciating volume that drove more than a few attendees out into the lobby.

For the main attraction, OPN’s ricocheting electronic textures and beats were backed by a combination of mind-warping visuals and live puppetry on a screen behind the performers that at times was comically meta: A recurring element was a remarkably accurate scale model of a DJ/producer behind decks that distinctly resembled OPN’s — a highlight of that segment was when a hand reached in and removed the head from the DJ/producer and replaced it with one of either a bug or some kind of gas mask. Later in the show, a shot of rubber hands playing a fake guitar was soon accompanied by the actual face of collaborator Kurt Vile, who came out onstage afterward and gave Lopatin a hug.

The tour is creative-directed by Freeka Tet (who did the video for “A Barely Lit Path”) and marks OPN’s first headline run since his 2018. It follows the release of the Blu-ray edition of his recent album “Again” as well as, in recent years, composing for the Safdie Brothers film team (“The Curse,” “Uncut Gems”), producing Soccer Mommy’s latest album and extensive collaborations with the Weeknd, including his 2021 Super Bowl Halftime show.

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