House of Vans again treated Chicago to an intimate concert at its West Loop location. This time the headliner curated series of events was headlined by New Zealand psychedelic rockers Unknown Mortal Orchestra! Now residing in the US, the band led by singer/guitarist/songwriter Ruban Nielsan visited us with special guests Shamir and True Blue on what is the last date UMO was playing in the states prior to departing on their European tour.
Below are some photos from this awesome event but for more on Unkown Mortal Orchestra, Shamir, and True Blue and, for more on these great artists, read on after the pics!
Unknown Mortal Orchestra is best known for hits like Necessary Evil (a personal favorite), So Good At Being In Trouble and Multi-Love. For a concert that is essentially free to the public, the long wait in line was definitely worth it. UMO “rocked!”, for a lack of better words. The bonus of having probably the best seats at any concert you will ever attend makes the House of Vans venue an A++ place to watch an artist like this. The place is small, bars and bathrooms are plenty and the sound and lighting are dope, from just about any angle. Add a low and up-close stage and the ambiance created by Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s setup and this concert was one of the highlights of my summer. (PS… once a DJ and audio engineer student, I’m a stickler for at least decent sound at concerts). For more on Unkown Mortal Orchestra: Official Facebook and Official Website
UMO has taken Shamir with them on a large part of their US tour and Chicago was no exception. Most of the songs performed by Shamir came from his Revelations LP, which features tracks like 90’s kids, Straight Boy, and Blooming. Shamir’s music is very personal and relatable. I’d say Shamir’s lyrics can portray both a combination of detail and of ambiguity allowing one to feel a connection even if their story is not the same as this artist’s. Shamir’s performance was well received and the perfect lead in to UMO for this night. Although Shamir’s latest album is a departure from the previous work, it should be on your target list for music to listen to, download, and, most of all, support! More on Shamir: Shamir on Facebook
Starting us off was the artist known as True Blue. Real name Maya Laner, this songstress visited us from Brooklyn and set the mood for the evening with a melodic and delicate beat-driven sound accompanied by her bassist. Sometimes mellow, sometimes upbeat, True Blue was a warm and welcome newcomer to my ears. I’m eager to follow her progress and much is left to your imagination when it comes to this artist. Check out her track Tell Me Texas and Bad Behavior to hear what True Blue is about. More on True Blue: Official Website and Soundcloud