The bill last night at Bowery Ballroom was truly an impressive one, with Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Foxygen, and Wampire. UMO and Foxygen have both released great albums already this year, and Wampire have one on the way soon.
Wampire opened things and had me impressed with a rambunctious set that had its fair share of rock out moments with interludes of cool down bravado and funk. I really enjoyed them, and will definitely try to see them again.
Foxygen were up next, and it marked my first time seeing them after their great CMJ set. They were guided by the chatty weirdness of lead singer Sam Frane who is bizarrely entertaining. From the crowds reaction to their set it seemed like they were co-headling with UMO rather than opening. They rocked out and put on an entertaining set, that I enjoyed a lot more now knowing all their songs.
I caught a brief part of UMO’s set at Pitchfork last summer so this was my first time watching a full set. I somehow never truly processed just how skilled of a guitarist that Ruban Nielson. His guitar work was mind-blowing to watch, he is so swift and skilled at the guitar, it’s a thing of beauty to watch. UMO are a tight, tight, live act that seem to be getting better with every passing moment. It was cool to see them at the always gracious Bowery Ballroom, as I can imagine bigger shows are not far off the horizon.
– Random note. At the start of the show some fan screamed out Lord of the Rings to UMO because Nielson is from New Zealand, where the films were made. He didn’t hesitate to give the guy the finger, which was simply amazing.
Photo sets of all three bands can be found below.