Lights, Camera, Introspection: Oneohtrix Point Never

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The prolific producer brought his distinct combination of visual and musical art to Boston, transporting his audience to another sonic world.

04/28/24 – Royale

Massachusetts-native and renowned producer Oneohtrix Point Never (OPN) has been on an incredibly impressive run lately. On top of producing the soundtrack for Nathan Fielder’s The Curse, he has recently embarked on Again², the world tour for his newest album, Again. Again is an introspective, ambient exploration of his musical journey in 13 tracks. This is his first tour since 2018’s Myriad Tour, and he returned to bring fans just what they’ve been missing: mesmerizing music paired with beautiful and detailed visuals.

The highly-anticipated tour made its way to Boston on Sunday, April 28th, filling the Royale with an electric atmosphere. The diverse crowd, ranging from hipsters to professionals, was buzzing with excitement, eagerly awaiting the unique musical experience. Even local rapper Joeyy and his entourage were in attendance. The merch table, a testament to OPN’s prolific output, included soundtracks from his older Safdie projects and a T-shirt collaboration with trendy brand Online Ceramics.

The show began with a DJ set from Pedagogy, a duo consisting of artists Eli Keszler and Nate Boyce. They kicked off the night with a unique and esoteric performance: the two freestyled moody and spacey drum and guitar improvisations over looping and fluctuating synths. The off-kilter set lulled the audience into an appreciative silence as they were captivated by the unique sound.

After a short break, OPN took the stage with the tour’s visual artist and creative director, Freeka Tet, who also directed the music video for “Barely Lit Path.” The two began the show with some of the opening tracks from his latest album. “World Outside” was accompanied by a harsh light show, with bright neon red, followed by a juxtaposing emptiness as all the lights went dark; Freeka Tet was busy controlling the spectacle. The song’s stuttered, abrupt beat and harsh visuals made the moment disorienting in the best way possible. The two lulled the audience into a trance, luring them into a hypnotic sway.

To one side of the booth, Tet had a table set up with a strange-looking box, which initially seemed like some futuristic speaker. OPN transitioned into “Locrian Midwest” as the footage on-screen became discernable: a dynamic shot of the stage. Slowly, it became clear that Tet was operating the stage in miniature and that the visuals were being performed simultaneously. Tet manipulated clay figures to mimic OPN’s movements, the smoke, and the lights, all while filming. The meta-layer played into the self-reflective themes of the album and transported the crowd into another dimension where only soundscapes exist.

Photo by Caspar Stevens

Throwback tracks, like fan favorite “Sleep Dealer,” were also integrated into the performance. Tet accompanied them with busy visuals of mashed-up cartoon clips synchronized to the beat, placing the crowd in a fever dream. This portion of the show was littered with impressive interpolations and elongated transitions. One of these was a bare-bones techno beat that could have been played at Bergheim. Fans adored it, bobbing and gyrating, leaning into the sensory onslaught.

OPN returned to his native Boston to give his fans a unique and powerful show. The innovative and experimental music combined with the surreal visuals left concertgoers in awe. Consider seeing him a necessity next time he is in town.

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