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Preview: Unknown Mortal Orchestra at Brooklyn Steel

By Will Oliver, April 20th 2018

The always reliable Ruban Nielson returned this year with Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s fourth album Sex & Food, released via Jagjaguwar. He will bring the new tour back to New York next week for a pair of shows at where else but Brooklyn Steel on April 25 and 26.

Tickets are still available for both shows but don’t wait too long as they’re bound to sell out very soon. If you’ve ever seen an UMO show you know just how great of a performance that Nielson and co. put on and these new songs are going to sound pretty epic within Brooklyn Steel.

Stay tuned for coverage of one of the shows coming from us right here very soon.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra at Central Park SummerStage (July 30, 2016)

By Will Oliver, November 5th 2016 — with 1 comment


It was a rainy afternoon on July 30, and prospects for the free Unknown Mortal Orchestra performance at Central Park for the SummerStage NYC series wasn’t looking good. But luckily the rain held off enough before doors, and the show went on.

Klaus Johann Grobe, a group from Switzerland opened things up along with local electronic pop artist Empress Of.

From there, the stage was set for Ruban Nielson and the rest of UMO to do their thing. Their set was full of songs from their 2015 record Multi-Love (released via Jagjaguwar) as well as older favorites like “Ffunny Ffrends” and “Thought Ballune.” The rain returned mid-way through their set, but at that point it was just a prop for the crowd to cut loose and enjoy UMO’s sweet, sweet, sounds.

Find the setlist posted below, along with photos of all three acts.
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If Ruban Nielson and his fantastic genre-defying band Unknown Mortal Orchestra are playing live in New York, you can bet on me being in attendance. The band seem to find new avenues and sounds on every album, and expand upon them even further during their exciting live shows. They’re performance at Irving Plaza earlier this year was an early highlight during the first quarter of the year.

They’re still hard at working touring last year’s Multi-Love (released via Jagjaguwar), and return to us in New York for a free performance tomorrow evening at Central Park Summerstage. As if they aren’t enough of a draw, we also get opening sets from Empress Of and Klaus Johann Grobe. It will be a great night for music of all different sorts of genres, now lets hope the weather holds out for us.
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1_Unknown Mortal Orchestra_Baby's All Right

Back in June Unknown Mortal Orchestra played a sold out show at Warsaw, the New York stop for their current tour of Multi-Love, their funky new album that was released this May via Jagjaguwar. Only that show was just the beginning of their night, as the band kept the party going right with a free show at the much more intimate Baby’s All Right immediately following their performance at Warsaw.

To be entered for a chance to attend, fans had to leave a comment on the bands facebook post the day before. Only a select few won, but things got so packed at Baby’s that anyone who showed up was allowed in. As a result, you can imagine that the already sure to be packed show got even more crowded than it had to be. The capacity crowd included Mac DeMarco and members of King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard, who also came from a show of their own at Bowery Ballroom.

2_Unknown Mortal Orchestra_Baby's All Right

The dance-inspired, funky influence of new album Multi-Love still had a strong hold on the band, who sounded as good as I’ve ever seen them (I last saw them at MHOW in 2013). These days they’re joined by a keyboardist, rounding their total to four. This resulted in a much fuller sound that allowed them to pull off the epic groove necessary on new tracks like “Necessary Evil” and the title track “Multi-Love.” The funk carried over and influenced a slightly new flavor to old favorites such as “How Can U Luv Me” and “Swim and Sleep (Like A Shark).”

The band let it all hang out on the stage and brought the party with them to the enthusiastic crowd who were just amazed to get to see them at the tiny stage of Baby’s, for free. The most impressive part of the night was that they didn’t cut it short due to it being a free show, they played for a solid hour plus, giving us more than we ever could of asked.

Find some more shots of their performance at Baby’s posted below.
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Tomorrow night Unknown Mortal Orchestra will make their long-awaited live return to New York for a sold out performance at Warsaw in Brooklyn. Tomorrow night will feature an opening set from Brooklyn resident Buscabulla

The performance is a part of their tour for their newly released album Multi-Love, which takes their sound to an even new direction than ever before. Hearing Ruban Nielson and the rest of his band play live is a completely different experience than on record. I’ve seen them a few times now, and their live shows always leave me impressed. It will be interesting and exciting to see how he mixes the new material with his old.

If you can find a last minute ticket, you should find your way down to Warsaw tomorrow night, it’s sure to be a good one.
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Last Friday UMO and Jackson Scott took their tour together out to Brooklyn, rocking the Music Hall of Williamsburg.

Jackson Scott kicked things off with a punk-minded set that transformed the songs off his debut album Melbourne into heavier, fuzzier rock affairs. He’s only 20-years-old and has some work to do on his live show, but there’s undeniable potential that is just waiting to be unleashed from Scott. Keep an ear out for him. Melbourne is out now via Fat Possum.

I’ve caught bits of UMO’s shows before, but never a full set. So it felt good knowing I could finally get to see a full show from them. You really get to appreciate how talented of a guitarist Ruban Nielson is live. He graciously rips into slick guitar solos like its nothing, giving his songs an extension of life that take them to entirely different levels. All the songs of his new album II as well as his debut s/t sounded even funkier with a sexy r&b influence sprinkled throughout. They are a band meant to be seen live, letting all your senses just get lost in the undeniable groove.

Check out some photos of both UMO & Jackson Scott below. Read the rest of this entry »

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