Its been a few years since I caught up with UMO’s live set. I sadly missed their tour for ‘II’, now back with their new album ‘Multi-Love’ It was a pleasant treat to see that the band has not only improved their techniques but also managed to feel more comfortable on stage. Since my first experience seeing UMO live, back when they toured with Portugal, the Man and Telekinesis, an accent of their show was Ruban’s overpowering guitar breaks. It was like a proclamation of a self assurance of skills, among some top notch musicians in the other bands sharing the same stage that night. Many raging experimental riffs in between the mellow soft-funk melodies really gave the live show a different experience. Their show at Trees last week was just further proof that Ruban is still as experimental and a technical guitarist but, this time around there was a common understanding with the rest of the band. A spontaneous chemistry where everyone was synced in with each others sounds and could always follow each others leads when a moment of sudden freestyle kicked in. It truly differentiates their live shows to their recorded sounds.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra is no longer the new band on the block. They have achieved the most prestigious recognitions on the web and have played the massive stages of every major festival in the world. I remember their show at Dada in Dallas supporting Toro Y Moi, I got to share a few beers and smokes with the guys after the show. They were young and in their psychedelic exploratory stages and I wasn’t even writing yet. Their music, much like their personality, often seems controlled by some over calculated formula because of their different backgrounds and style. But to me, it seems like these guys’ formula is just to experiment. To endure their current talents and influences and just jam out with an unsettled perspective until things start making sense and form into song structures. Their youthful ache for feel-good psych waves remain the same as the days before ‘How Can You Love Me’.
Their show was packed, and the crowd sang ‘Multi-Love’ and ‘Can’t Keep Checking My Phone’ word by word like an anthem. Myself, I entered my happy/drunk dancing stages when ‘Funny Friends’ and ’Swim and Sleep (Like a Shark)’ came on. Check out the awesome shots by Adrian Samano
and keep an eye for their US Tour.