Last year, Unknown Mortal Orchestra took the world by storm with the release of their newest album, Multi-love. This week, they did it again, but this time they brought the storm to Thalia Hall. The psych rock group is on tour with local Chicago band, Whitney.
After announcing their spot on the pitchfork lineup and an insane tour with Wild Nothing last month, Whitney has gained some momentum. Whitney’s demo album, Light Upon the Lake, is set to be released on June 3rd. However, those lucky fans who have seen a Whitney show had the opportunity to buy a copy of their album on vinyl before it is released.
As always, Whitney delivered a performance full of musicality and multi-instrumental wonder. But this time, Whitney’s performance was even more amazing (we didn’t know that was possible) than their performance at Thalia Hall last week, because the fans knew all of the lyrics to their songs. The atmosphere of Whitney’s preformance was alluring and engaging. Each member of the crowd had their eyes locked on the band, almost like the music had fully engrossed them. There was no “opening band chatter” that typically goes on while the crowd waits for the headliner to play. There was only the cherished sound of Whitney’s music and the fans singing along to it.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra has had the world’s attention from practically the first note they ever played. UMO began in 2010 when the band’s now-frontman, Ruban Nielson, released the song “Ffunny Ffrends”on an anonymous Bandcamp profile. Within a day, music publications, like Pitchfork, began to cover the band. The song was eventually shared enough times that Nielson claimed it as his, and Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s career began.
The immediate love of any Unknown Mortal Orchestra song is inevitable. Their music spreads like wildfire because it is so intoxicating, which is why the release of Muli-Love was so highly anticipated. Once the album was released, no one could stop listening to it. Every single song on the album is the type of song that you could leave on repeat for hours on end, and never get tired of. Twitter was covered in adoring messages to UMO and mentions of the album.
If Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s music wasn’t enough to become our favorite band, their live performance is. Nielson walks into the crowd, throws himself on the stage, sits on the edge of the stage and sings with you, and climbs balconies to sit on top of the VIP boxes.
When he’s not climbing into the crowd, Ruban Nielson is singing his heart out, or killing it on his guitar. There is never a dull moment during a UMO show, everything is perfect. The vocals are beautiful, the environment is upbeat, the musicians are insanely talented – as they demonstrate in the frequent break off solos, and the crowd is friendly.
Missing an Unknown Mortal Orchestra show is not an option, and neither is missing another Whitney show, so buy your Pitchfork tickets to go see Whitney, and pray to the music gods that UMO will come back soon. While you’re waiting for your prayers to be answered, you can listen to Multi-Love and let the time melt away. Just remember to put the album on repeat!