Unknown Mortal Orchestra (UMO) played their epic last album Multi-Love as part of Central Park’s Summerstage Concert Series. For fans of UMO, their newest album felt like a psychedelic disco was founded in your ears. Moreover, the rainy setting of this special night, July 30, elevated the epic nature of their music. Multi-Love is an excellent album, but Multi-Love LIVE! and in the rain; that is something else!
Unknown Mortal Orchestra might fit into a rare category because their music sounds better live then in an album. That is not to say that their records are not amazing, on the contrary, you go because you know you will hear their great records become magnificent ones through their concert. They have created psychedelic, 1970’s vibrations that course through you like a lightning zap. Their sounds are filled with energy, while their lyrics are thoughtfully somber. You go to see them because they have created a weird, sad genre they call: depression funk. Thus, seeing them perform on the Summerstage, in the rain, brought to life their ability to make electrifying instrumentals carry a lyrical downside. Moreover, it helped me realize what I have always known; I love a good, sad song.
First World Problems
Love is one of the greatest, if not, main themes of music, and UMO has captured the loneliness, paranoia, and struggles with woe that come with this unique virtue. In addition, they have elaborated the pains of love through sounds that peel at you like your ripened fruit ready to be eaten. Tracks like, Necessary Evil or Ur Life One Night make you think you have fallen into a computer. Colorful, synthetic images flash before you in a pixelated flood, while you feel your heart rush with sentiment. Its is practically a cinematic experience to hear Ruben Nielson sing with a voice that is strung in hurt. He can bring out a tear from a rock with his capacity to make depressing words feel like rich treasures. In Nielson, you find the voice of every moment you have cried. He “gets” sadness, and thanks to the “trippy” acoustics of UMO, delivers it in a way that makes it both tolerable and oddly beautiful. For every struggle with love, UMO shows how great it is to, at least, have known the feeling. All these ideas and emotions flushed over me on a rainy day in Central Park.
I loved UMO live. Beyond the discotheque atmosphere their sounds create, the rain brought an added feeling of liberation. People danced and smile as rainclouds faded and returned for a wet night of music. Yet, the rain furthered the emotions of UMO’s songs. As you stood their, drops of celestial tears falling on you, you became wildly alert of the surroundings and awakened sentiments that flowed through the open air. Whether you were dancing to UMO’s sonic waves or standing in stillness absorbing their lyrical wonders like a magician handing you your own wand, the rain heightened the experience. All who were there, really loved Unknown Mortal Orchestra, and the rain felt like a battle and luxury at clearing out all tension. The night was like a spiritual cleanse, in which, music and nature made everyone feel what life is like when its 100% good.
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