By James Olson
May 8, 2018
Rubin Nielson and company dazzled the sold-out crowd at the Commodore on an overcast and otherwise uneventful Tuesday night in Vancouver. Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s career has been on an upward trajectory and their performance was all the justification needed for their glowing critical praise. The band is truly worth of the hype they’ve received.
The band’s setlist was surprisingly heavy on new material from their latest record Sex & Food. Nine of the twelve songs off the fourth Unknown Mortal Orchestra LP were performed that night and blended well with highlights off their earlier albums. The band wasted no time to please the crowd, opening with the iconic “Ffunny FFrends” followed shortly after by “Necessary Evil”.
Nielson’s charming yet unassuming stage presence was swiftly shattered as an extended jam during “From the Sun” saw the frontman/guitarist run through the crowd and proceeded to solo atop the venue balcony and on a bar top before returning to the stage. It was truly a sight to behold and Nielson would later charge through the crowd later in the evening during an energetic rendition of “Not in Love We’re Just High”.
The light show was theatrical throughout with intersecting spotlights dancing in front of what looked like some sort of towering multi sectioned terrarium to the back of the stage. The band pulled out all the stops on the excellent closing number “Can’t Keep Checking My Phone” where spotlights bathed the crowd in a kaleidoscopic rainbow of colour.
Everyone acts crazy nowadays and Unknown Mortal Orchestra were leading the apocalyptic dance party.