Georgia quintet Of Montreal brought their traveling circus of a show to New York's Highline Ballroom last night for an over-stimulating sold-out performance, complete with flower power indie-pop anthems and touches of surrealism. But the strangest moment of the night wasn't when singer Kevin Barnes mounted a crucifix-like S&M rack or when masked dancers walked on their hands across the stage. Of Montreal reached new heights of weird when actress Susan Sarandon came out during "St. Exquisite's Confessions" and bent a man dressed as a pig over her knee, spanking him with a ruler before wagging her finger at the audience and pushing up her glasses. Sarandon later emerged during "A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger" as she shot streamers from her hands, showering the audience in a rainbow confection before dancing her way back to V.I.P.
The band kept the hour-and-a-half set relatively low-key (by their standards), running through a gamut of shape-shifting cuts from their catalog including "Heimdalsgate Like a Promethian Curse" and "Satanic Panic in the Attic." They dazzled the crowd with the new tie-dyed number "Teenage Unicorn Fisting" as a cartoon image of the Pope with a skull mask over its face bopped on the screen behind them (watch the band play the track acoustic Live at Rolling Stone). The evening ended with a hot soul injection as Beyoncé's lil' sis Solange Knowles joined Barnes for an encore duet on the Jackson Five's "I Want You Back." As Rolling Stone previously reported, Knowles guests on Of Montreal's upcoming album, which Barnes describes as a soul-funk affair.
• The Surreal Life: Of Montreal Feature
• Of Montrealâ€™s Kevin Barnes Talks Next Album, Live DVD and MGMT Side Project
• Of Montreal Debut â€œTeenage Unicorn Fistingâ€ for Rolling Stone