Unknown Mortal Orchestra and Steve Lacy in the Concert Hall – Sydney Opera House

Sydney – Monday 6 November, 2023. The Sydney Opera House today announced two electrifying contemporary music events over summer with genre-raiding psych-rockers Unknown Mortal Orchestra making their Concert Hall debut on January 30, and alternative R&B star Steve Lacy performing two shows in-the-round on 31 January and 1 February 2024.

Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s (UMO) appearance follows the March release of their definitive fifth album, – an exquisite collection of songs that evokes the 70s rock and 80s pop of frontman Ruban Nielson’s childhood, while exploring love, loss and his Hawaiian heritage. The album makes a strong case for itself as his sun-bleached masterpiece, earning a 4.5 star review from Uncut and a place on The Guardian’s ‘best albums of 2023 so far’ list.

UMO initially achieved runaway success following the covert release of an anonymously penned track, ‘Ffunny Ffriends’, on Band Camp (2011). They’d go on to release five albums over the next 12 years, each to widespread acclaim and rave reviews, with Sex & Food rated one of the best albums of 2018 by BBC Radio & 6Music. Boasting over 1 billion streams globally, the band lands in Australia off the back of sold out shows in the US, Europe and South America. UMO are a live force to be reckoned with, delivering something otherworldly and transcendent on stage.

Grammy award-winning artist and one of Time Magazine’s Most Influential People, Steve Lacy, will play the acoustically-transformed Concert Hall on the final leg of his Gemini Rights album tour. Written, produced, and played almost entirely by Lacy, Gemini Rights (2022) was nominated for four Grammys, winning Best Progressive R&B album and reached #1 on the US Top Alternative and Top Rock album charts. Lacy has over 27 million monthly listeners on Spotify – with Sydney listeners his third highest audience – and his Billboard #1 single ‘Bad Habit’ is now 3x platinum in Australia.

Lacy joined Californian band The Internet in 2014 while still in high school and made his recorded debut on their critically acclaimed album Ego Death (2015). He started releasing solo material in 2016, earning a Grammy nomination for his debut solo LP Apollo XXI (2019), before returning with breakout release Gemini Rights. At just 25 years of age, he’s already worked with an incredible array of artists including Tyler, the Creator, Frank Ocean, Vampire Weekend, Calvin Harris, Solange, Denzel Curry and Mac Miller, and has produced the song ‘PRIDE’ by Kendrick Lamar.

Sydney Opera House Head of Contemporary Music, Ben Marshall says:

“Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s brilliant psych-rock explorations drill deep inside the psyche of their frontman and songwriter Ruban Nielson, who’s uncompromising, virtuosic vision translates into mesmering live performances that need to be experienced to be believed. Come hear their unique brand of melodic psychedelia fill up the grand surrounds of the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall one perfect summer evening this February.”

“Since Steve Lacy last strode the Concert Hall stage, dazzlingly as part of The Internet in 2019, he’s exploded into a Stevie Wonder/Prince figure for his generation, with more than a dash of Solange for good measure. So we are thrilled to be presenting these two in-the-round performances in what is now a very intimate venue for this significant artistic figure. At 25 years of age, it feels like Steve Lacy is just at the start of his world-conquering reign, so don’t miss his Sydney Opera House headline coronation.” 

Alice Lange
Alice Lange
Alice Lange is passionate about music. She has been part of several groups in the production side and has now decided to bring her experience to the field of journalism. She also reviews movies and television and participates in various events. Contact: music (@) martincid (.) com
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