Umphrey’s McGee lit up the stage at The Fillmore on Saturday night with their intense light and sound show. The opening jam was a sonic assault of drums and guitar from singer/guitarist Brendan Bayliss and lead guitarist Jake Cinninger. It was nearly 15 minutes before Bayliss so much as formed the evening’s first lyric. The musical incursion that developed afterward spanned a two hour-long set and an encore that lasted until nearly midnight. Umphrey’s McGee offered an onslaught of sound that often verged on noise but never strayed from being music. Very loud music!
Along with Bayliss and Cinninger, the band features Joel Cummins on keys, Ryan Stasik on bass, Andy Farag and Kris Myers on percussion. These six men offer no shortage of high voltage sound and energy. Umphrey’s style of improve jamming seems to mimic that of jam pioneers Phish or the Grateful Dead, but the power behind Umphrey’s sound drives the music forward unlike most other jam bands. They feature a few trippy “space” moments typical of the Dead, and rarely into the bizarre soundscapes that distinguish Phish. The sextet excels with its loosely scripted instrumentation, but it’s tight, crisp and, above all, packed with force.
The opening set featured “There’s No Crying in Mexico” that stretched nearly 30 minutes, leading into “All In Time.” Unlike many improve acts, Umphrey’s goes into each show with a pre-determined set list. Bayliss curated Saturday’s list, which included a raging performance of “Resolution,” a homage to Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust, “Out Of Order,” “JaJunk,” and “Triple Wide.”
If Saturday’s show was at all indicative of what’s to come for the rest of this tour, fans are in for something truly special, as these guys will blow your mind. Definitely a must see show and as always, we highly recommend that you “Get out and See The Music”
Review by Kelly Tucker
For more of Umphry’s McGee visit their official web site at: www.umphreys.com