Live Review: Unknown Mortal Orchestra @ The Triffid 6/12/2015
The Triffid was comforted by a collective crowd of enthused ticket holders, eager to finish their week off and place the cherry atop built anticipation for a sold out show brought to us by Portland-based, New Zealand originates of Unknown Mortal Orchestra.
Beginning, Sydney hailing Alex Cameron took to the stage. The Seekae frontmans’ alter ego brought with him a world of moody, status-quo-challenging depth as his crooning vocals, ironic production, electronic drum kits and sax solos provided by his beloved friend and business partner Roy Malloy soared. Dressed in a sharp grey suit with slicked shoulder-length hair, he sang of being the “ugliest, drunkest girl at the bar”, a washed up, has-been, grasping onto a dissipating life in show business in The Comeback and yearning for a Roxanne in She’s Mine. The 70’s zest and Nick Cave/Michael Hutchence similarity teamed with vigorous, sharp snaps of the microphone stand sent shivers of intrigue and irony that resonated with the crowd and ultimately provided a charismatic live performance by the duo.
After a brief break and re-fill/fuel, Unknown Mortal Orchestra appeared through a distortion of blue and orange lights, and dived straight into the funk and warmth of ‘Necessary Evil’ before showering us with guitar laden ‘Like Acid Rain’ from current 2015 album Multi Love. The set was an eclectic crowd pleaser, with tracks from all three records, throwing back to II’s ‘From The sun’ which Nielson dragged with a belting guitar solo, to which he continued throughout the set, cementing his showmanship and sweet humble charismatic talent!
Solos were a running theme, with drummer Riley Geare and his precision-flailing limbs dropping-jaws in his display of reckless abandon, leaving nothing but mesmerized admiration. It was tracks from II and 2011’s Self titled Unknown Mortal Orchestra that was breathed new dimensions by Quincy McCrary on keys, who was also shun spotlight in his solo during 2010 hit Funny Friends and encore So Good At Being In Trouble which the crowd, without any stutter, sung every word.
Nielson, lacking in verbal banter, made up with his display of love, diving into the crowd and parting it like a god doth the red sea, serenading his ecstatic admirers (and coping a few kisses) to end up perched atop a speaker belting out the funk-heavy Stage or Screen. Emotional displays from Nielson were illustrated on his face during his renditions of songs from “Multi Love”, with its theme of polyamory and personal experience with a third addition to his marriage resonating throughout, and captured perfectly in lyric “It’s not that this songs about her, most songs are about her”. Closing with the groove of ‘Can’t Keep Checking My Phone’, Unknown Mortal Orchestra dazzled the Brisbane crowd, and left all glistening with affection, sweat and complete satisfaction, a true ode and homage to a Multi-Love felt by all.