UM & YMSB | 07.27 | Providence

Words & Images by: Bill Clifford

Umphrey's McGee/YMSB :: 07.27.07 :: Lupo's :: Providence, RI

Aijala, Stasik, Austin :: 07.27 :: RI
It was the kind of weekend live music fans salivate over. Two touring stalwarts crossed paths at two of the region's finest mid-sized venues. Yonder Mountain String Band made a rare run through New England, joining Umphrey's McGee at Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel in Providence, RI on Friday and Hampton Beach Casino Ballroom in Hampton Beach, NH on Saturday. JamBase checked into Lupo's to offer you this report from night one.

While each band is more than capable of a headlining slot, the co-bill offered fans the opportunity to hear top-notch collaboration, experimentation and improvisation from two bands whose styles, sounds and genres couldn't be further apart brought together in camaraderie and a shared appreciation of authentic musicianship.

Dave Johnston (YMSB) :: 07.27 :: RI
By the scheduled start time, YSMB had taken the stage at Lupo's and the rush of the crowd filled the limited floor space in front. Well into "Ramblin' in the Rambler," when the band paused for "Just one more Jagermeister shot" it was obvious the crowd was drinking in revelry right along with them. From the start, the band and the audience picked up on one another's energy. The "Rambler" > "Fingerprint" > "Rambler" sandwich, with several emotionally charged peaks and solos from Jeff Austin (mandolin) and Dave Johnston (banjo), immediately set the bar quite high.

Austin, wearing a St. Patrick's green Red Sox cap, took a moment to introduce guitarist Adam Aijala, noting that the Massachusetts native's parents were in the house. "Yup, we're Massholes and we're proud of it," Aijala quipped. While YMSB will always be remembered for their genre-blurring pickin' over vocals, it was clear that Aijala sang on "Night Out" with just a bit more gusto and passion than his peers.

Cinninger (UM) & Aijala (YMSB) :: 07.27 :: RI
A couple "more traditional bluegrass tunes," as Austin put it, certainly didn't mellow the crowd. In fact, the twangy dual vocals of Austin and Aijala on "100 Years From Now" was the highlight of the set, with many emotional crescendos that brought enlivened cheers and dancing. YMSB closed out its 90-minute performance with "Steep Grade, Sharp Curves" with what seemed like the entire crowd singing-a-long.

But, the music never really came to an end. After a stellar banjo solo from Johnston, Austin said, "Let's see if we add a little percussion to this what happens." In stepped Andy Farag from Umphrey's McGee, and thus began the transition, as members of Umphrey's found their way onstage with a rousing cheer, each feeling his way into the YMSB tune. The unique interplay between the ten musicians - such as the keys of UM's Joel Cummins and Aijala's acoustic guitar, or the fun of Austin's mandolin picking chased by UM's Jake Cinninger's playful electric guitar - was certainly what drew many to these performances. Unfortunately, the inter-band jamming, while no letdown, was too sparse with YMSB making their way offstage far too quickly.

Andy Farag (UM) :: 07.27 :: RI
I felt a shift in the crowd with YMSB's exit. What had been a loosely packed, dancing jamboree of thirty-something bluegrass fans suddenly became a tight throng of college aged UM fans. As bodies continued to pour into the tight confines, they bumped and bounced against one another as the space became humid and sticky. But, so too did the music. UM got hot quick, beginning with a bouncy, rhythmic "Resolution" featuring the jovial vocals and guitar of Brendan Bayliss. The stylistic differences between the two bands were obvious. YMSB's acoustic newgrass was a stark contrast to the electric trance-dance flavor of the current and ever-evolving UM.

Umphrey's has been one of the most prolific bands on the scene, having released three discs worth of studio recordings in the past year and half. More to the point, tonight's set contained not one song found on any of the bands recordings, and leaned stylistically towards trance-oriented improvisations. It certainly wasn't lost on the many bobbin' heads and constantly-in-motion bodies dancing their asses off.

UM & YMSB :: 07.27 :: RI
"In the Hall Of The Mountain King" was a sound-alike to the Inspector Gadget theme, and the pure, slinky funk of "Mail Package" mellowed the high for many. That was followed up with the pop perfection of "2x2" and "Alex's House," the latter featuring sultry dual vocals of Bayliss and Cummins, as well as playful jamming between Cummins and Cinninger. Having recently played the Trancegression Festival with pals The Disco Biscuits, several songs tonight - especially the set closing "August" and "Bridgeless" with extended and open ended improvisational jamming - were clear indicators of UM's future direction.

Both YMSB and UM found their way back to the stage for a two-song encore. At the very least, for this critic, it was the highlight of the evening to hear the ten musicians cover the Led Zeppelin nugget "That's The Way." The mix of the dual electric guitars from Cinninger and Bayliss with Johnston's banjo and Austin's mandolin was among the sweetest sounds I've heard in a long time. By adding their own flare to a traditional style of music, Yonder Mountain String Band has led a resurgence in that genre. With multiple stops and starts, twists and turns, style shifts and genre-bending song structures, Umphrey's McGee is certainly amongst today's most talented musicians. Put these two acts on the same stage and fans are able to bare witness to true leaders in the jam world.

Setlist :: 07.27.07 :: Lupo's :: Providence, Rhode Island

Yonder Mountain String Band
One Set: Grave > If There's Still Ramblin' in the Rambler (let him go) > Fingerprint > If There's Still Ramblin' in the Rambler (let him go), What You're Selling, Night Out, 100 Years From Now, 100 Years From Now, Mental Breakdown, Nothin' But Nothin' > Ten > Up On The Hill Where They Do The Boogie > Ten, Kentucky Mandolin, Angel > Boatman > The Bolton Stretch, On the Run > Sidewalk Stars > On the Run, Steep Grade Sharp Curves1
1 Umphrey's McGee joins the band and goes into their own set

Umphrey's McGee
One Set: #Jazz Odyssey > Resolution > The Triple Wide > In the Hall of the Mountain King, Mail Package, 2x2 > Alex's House > 2x2, The Crooked One* > August, Bridgeless
Encore That's the Way^, Partyin' Peeps^
Notes Jeff Austin and Brendan Bayliss along with YMSB opened
# YMSB jammed out "Steep Grades, Sharp Curves" to close their set, one by one, they were replaced by Umphrey's before seguing into "Resolution"
* unfinished
^ with Jeff Austin on mandolin and Dave Johnston on banjo

JamBase | Rhode Island
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[Published on: 8/8/07]

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Comments

whodoyoudo Wed 8/8/2007 06:36PM
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whodoyoudo

cant wait for the canopy show

they got ties to urbana so theyll bring it plus its a friday
so u can count on some great afterparty pickin


wish i could make the chicago

whodoyoudo Wed 8/8/2007 06:38PM
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whodoyoudo

yonder that is

wont b at umph

Chaloupka Wed 8/8/2007 06:42PM
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Chaloupka

"Having recently played the Trancegression Festival with pals The Disco Biscuits, several songs tonight - especially the set closing "August" and "Bridgeless" with extended and open ended improvisational jamming - were clear indicators of UM's future direction."

What does that mean? I hope it doesn't mean they're moving more into the techno sound.

Chaloupka Wed 8/8/2007 06:42PM
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Chaloupka

"Having recently played the Trancegression Festival with pals The Disco Biscuits, several songs tonight - especially the set closing "August" and "Bridgeless" with extended and open ended improvisational jamming - were clear indicators of UM's future direction."

What does that mean? I hope it doesn't mean they're moving more into the techno sound.

mflax555 starstarstarstarstar Wed 8/8/2007 06:47PM
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mflax555

I was at this show, just wanted to say thanks for a great article. I took some amazing pictures as well, if anyones interested. is the yonder show anywhere for download?

phisherman81 star Wed 8/8/2007 10:46PM
Show -4 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} starstarstarstarstar Thu 8/9/2007 03:35AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

well this looks fun, I would have liked to have see this.
I wish I had the cds. =(

nathann starstarstarstar Thu 8/9/2007 05:18AM
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mflax i saw both the NH and RI shows up on archive.org last week should find them easily.
I was at the NH show what a great time! both these bands kick ass, i wish i was there about 40mins earlier to catch the Jeff Austin Brandon Bayliss opener. oh well still a wonderful summer evening

tourfan Thu 8/9/2007 06:06AM
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phisherman81

"What a horrible review of what looks like a stellar show; I am guessing jambase lets anyone with a camera write reviews these days. Well at least you cleared what instrument Jeff Austin played (mandolin)"

Hey man, whom are you to comment in such a way unless you've something to add ...?

spaceface7 starstarstarstar Thu 8/9/2007 06:25AM
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um...yeah...phisherman81. thats what jambase does, they let ANYBODY write a review... ya friggin masshole

AdCo Thu 8/9/2007 07:08AM
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AdCo

after playing trancegression, and with camp bisco in the near future, i think its damn healthy for um to feed off of yonder's earthy goodness. techno parties are fun, but a rockin hootnanie ho-down is good for the soul. hopefully playing with yonder, um remembered that you can play a rockin show without endless break beats

pbandJAM7 starstarstarstarstar Thu 8/9/2007 08:52AM
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wow now that sounded like an awesome show. i love yonder and am a rising umph's fan. cooool colaberation.

inbobwetrust starstarstarstar Thu 8/9/2007 10:20AM
Show -3 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
1048 starstarstarstarstar Thu 8/9/2007 10:48AM
Show -5 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
mclennan starstarstarstar Thu 8/9/2007 11:04AM
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In The Hall of the Mountain King is by Edvard Grieg
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_the_Hall_of_the_Mountain_King

UM show on the archive
http://www.archive.org/details/um2007-07-27.mbho.ka200.flac16

Makisupa_McGee Thu 8/9/2007 11:14AM
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Makisupa_McGee

speaking of getting dancy...

http://www.ican.ie/campaigns/universalmusic/dancesisterdance/myvid/index.php?v=2f5025b21fdea

gmoo Thu 8/9/2007 12:37PM
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gmoo

Word.

mackadocious Thu 8/9/2007 12:47PM
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mackadocious

I hear what Chaloupka is saying and it almost worries me. I'm such a big UM fan, but too much of that electronic/techno shit ruins their vibe. I'm going to camp bisco and I'm scared that they're gonna play TripleWide for 20 minutes. They're an ill-ass ROCK band that tastefully blends many genres of music. Let us fans pray that they don't stray far from their current live sound.

doon starstarstarstar Thu 8/9/2007 01:21PM
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Fun show, good review.
For the record - Jeff is a cubs fan, and i thought it was a cubs hat he was wearing - i was wearing mine.

cuttyfives Thu 8/9/2007 01:34PM
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mackadocious....i always go to umph hoping for a 20 min triple wide and they bust it out (atleast 7 shows + 3 day NYE run)...interesting....that is why i stopped listening to them, their first bonaroo show was epic, and since then i feel they have been slippin...Hhmm...each his own.

cuttyfives Thu 8/9/2007 01:35PM
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they NEVER have busted it out, my bad

Makisupa_McGee Thu 8/9/2007 01:37PM
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Makisupa_McGee

oh comon, how can you be an umphan and not appreciate a good 20 min trancy 3wide?!!?! not to mention that some of those trancy versions of padgets profile are pretty redic, too.

im a pretty forgiving fan in terms of trying new styles/things even if it isnt my favorite cuz if they always stayed in the comfort zone of the band and the fans they wouldnt be half they band they are today

plus, its not like theyre just going to turn into another livetronica act, i mean really, have a little faith!

with such differing sounds ranging from higgins to wizzard burrial groud to bad poker and mullet over are you honestly that worried that theyre going to up and decide to completely change the direction of the band?

1048 starstarstarstarstar Thu 8/9/2007 02:20PM
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1048

20 min triple wide sounds amazing, umphreys adding a little more trance sounds like a good thing to me. wizard burial ground needs to stay in the ground

Adam4man Thu 8/9/2007 04:21PM
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No mention of austin/bayliss opener?

bBlack starstarstarstar Thu 8/9/2007 07:42PM
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I personally like it when um trances, but then I like it when they rock, prog, show off their vocals or any other talents they have (especially Jake's guitar). Keep up the good work UM.

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} starstarstarstarstar Fri 8/10/2007 03:35AM
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‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

I like it all. both bands grew on me over the course of years, I just keep trying, and the summer show I saw at the masquerade was really great and fun show. I enjoyed both bands and what they brought us. I used to not really care for either band, but now I like them. I love UMPHS wide range of sound, it goes all over, from heavy metal, to trance, to jazzy, to classic rock. If you go see them enough, you will see they really have a broad range.

Anyone can write a review, but very few are chosen.
I have tried about four or five times, and they never post my stories or cd reviews, so I quit trying.
I am not wasting my time for jambase ever again.

have a great weekend ya'll!!! Yippeeee its friday!!!!

RothburyWithCheese starstarstar Fri 8/10/2007 06:19AM
Show -4 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
petetuck Fri 8/10/2007 02:44PM
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I dis-agree and think Yonder played for to long. When Umphreys threw out the triple wide it displayed some of their newfound bisco type trance beats, and was welcomed by the crowd after all the twang. Any way you look at it UM plays a rock show, but plays everystyle of music, aggressively. They have gotten better and better every time I see them, and continually push the envelope with. I also think the fact that they brought Yonder on for two song encores (in NH too) shows that they can play whatever they want with whomever they want. I think the NH show was better for straight UM fans, and the 2nd set of NH was just fucking insane, DBK blew my face into maine. UM is gonna be around for awhile, and I fucking love it, I hope they continue to play with bisco, and head that direction, but they will always keep their style and song choices fresh and varied, its why they are the greatest.

mflax555 starstarstarstarstar Sun 8/12/2007 02:59PM
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mflax555

nathann, the umphreys show is up on archive, but ive yet to see the ymsb 7.27.07 show. if you definately found it, lemme no the link, if not its cool.


everybody> you people need to realize that good music was played that night and even the guys in the band had a great time. quit being so full of yourselves and critizing every little friggen detail. enjoy the music and move on.

mflax555 starstarstarstarstar Sun 8/12/2007 03:05PM
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mflax555

and jeff austin is rediculous

Makisupa_McGee Mon 8/13/2007 09:52AM
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Makisupa_McGee

^friggin amazing pic!

GreetTheMind Mon 8/13/2007 11:25AM
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GreetTheMind

great show. dont think ive ever danced more than i did during resolution> the triple wide.
amaaaazing:)

AdCo Mon 8/13/2007 12:37PM
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AdCo

great pic. i love how it looks like jeff is giving the photographer the finger, as if to say "fuck ya'll who don't love rockin string music!"

RothburyWithCheese starstarstarstarstar Tue 8/14/2007 09:41AM
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RothburyWithCheese

I've seen Yonder 6 times since 2003 and hope to see them many more times. Come back to Austin!!! I suggest 2 nights at the Zona Rosa with Hackensaw Boys opening!!

JakeCinningerisgod Thu 8/16/2007 05:33PM
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i really hope that umphreys stays away from the trance, im not gonna rip trance, its not bad music its just not my thing. I got into umphreys because they put on a kick ass rock show and it seems more and more that they want to start doing this trance stuff. i dunno im not speaking of everyone in that scene because ive meet a lot of good people at shows like that, but it brings shady characters around no doubt.

professorwormbog Tue 9/18/2007 04:00PM
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professorwormbog

If anyone is looking for a recording of the entire show (not just the UM set available on archive.org) check out the link below and enjoy.

http://bt.etree.org/details.php?id=509204

Oh, and UM can play whatever they wish and it will still sound good. They never fail to impress me and I will keep coming back for more. If you're not digging their sound, seek out something else.

If you haven't heard the "Making Flippy Floppy" from this year @ 10KLF you need to experience it. Last time I checked you could find the video on YouTube as well.

mary760 starstarstarstarstar Mon 10/22/2007 05:54PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I like it all. both bands grew on me over the course of years, I just keep trying, and the summer show I saw at the masquerade was really great and fun show. I enjoyed both bands and what they brought us. I used to not really care for either band, but now I like them. I love UMPHS wide range of sound, it goes all over, from heavy metal, to trance, to jazzy, to classic rock.

And i have a good web to download these songs @http://www.boxsweeper.com !have fun!

lemak91 starstarstarstarstar Tue 12/11/2007 10:18AM
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lemak91

this show was awesome. one night i will never forget. long adventure. and im a dallas guy. i happened to be in boston at the time going to school at berklee for the summer. i saw that they were playing so we had to take the train ride to providence. worth it for sure.