Friday night at Irving Plaza felt like nothing short of a victory lap. Unknown Mortal Orchestra has been on a marathon of sorts in support of their latest album Multi-Love. You may remember me lauding their success last summer in a long and detailed account of a night out with the band. Coincidentally, the band had just played their last show and we stared into our tea leaves (read: whiskey gingers) thinking about what the future held.

I can’t recall what we postulated, but ending their tour in New York with two sold out nights at Irving Plaza seemed like a fitting result. After a powerful opening set from Lower Dens, the stage lights lowered to a familiar purple hue as the eager crowd squealed. Before the familiar shadow on stage could grab his guitar, the crowd welcomed our favorite Kiwi with a raucous “Happy Birthday” song.

With pleasantries out of the way, UMO began what would become an electrifyingly familiar set. Familiar in the sense that I believe they played the same set last time I saw them. Electrifying in the sense that it seemed like a completely different band. To borrow from a b-side song of theirs, the entire band — especially Ruban — exuded “Waves of Confidence.” The transitions between floating verses and ripping solos were seamless and powerful. Every member had their moment — Riley during “How Can U Luv Me,” Quincy during “Ffunny Ffriends,” and Jake basically ripping it all the time. One of my favorite things the band does is ensure that a soloing member gets undivided attention by all taking a knee — much like sports teams to to pay respect to their coach.
UMO Riley

This go ’round Coach Ruban has orchestrated (pun intended) a freakin’ solid band that continues to amaze its fans both new and old. They changed things up during their encore by having two special guests on the trumpet & sax for “Necessary Evil” and “Can’t Keep Checking My Phone.” Almost everyone I spoke to came with friends that had been recently initiated — and everyone left still bobbing their heads with a little pep in their step.

So once again UMO, a job well done, a tour well played, and a rest well-deserved. Missed these guys somehow? No worries, they’ll be back on the road again later this year. Until then boys…

Night 1 Setlist

Acid Rain

From the Sun

How Can You Luv Me

Ur Life One Night

Thought Ballune

The World is Crowded

So Good At Being In Trouble

Sime and Sleep (Like A Shark)

Stage or Screen

Ffunny Ffriends



Necessary Evil

Can’t Keep Checking My Phone