Umphrey's Loads Beacon Finale With Heavy Hitters

Most rock improv acts have certain songs that fans can depend on as reliable jam vehicles. Last night Umphrey's McGee loaded their second set with one of these heavy hitters after another in front of a capacity crowd at the Beacon Theatre in New York City.

[Photo by Scott Harris]

Once again the Chicago sextet started the show with a new intro, "October Rain," that was played over the PA as they took the stage and joined in on it live. "2x2" was extended ever so slightly, yet it was Brendan Bayliss's majestic solo that stood out. Older originals "Syncopated Strangers" and "White Man's Moccasins" both were dusted off in the opening stanza after short stays on the shelf since October. Bassist Ryan Stasik was at the heart of many of the evening's jams as he led off a number of improvisational segments with a riff he'd come up with on the spot. Stasik's band mates would pick up on what he was laying down before adding embellishments of their own. An example of the bassist's prominence took place during last night's funky "In The Kitchen." Ryan laid the groundwork for the huge, crowd-pleasing peak that developed in what turned out to be the highlight of the set.

Saturday's second set was an "all killer, no filler" affair filled to the brim with outstanding improvisation. The set started off with a 24-minute "All In Time" that saw the band explore a number of different jam spaces. "Resolution" was up next, but the group quickly made a left turn towards Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir." The crowd reacted strongly to the Zep cover, though UM returned to the heavy-hitting "Resolution" after just one verse. "Resolution" featured a blissful, major-key jam segment that eventually segued into "Glory." Following "Glory," the sextet finished the "In The Kitchen" they started in the first set and went on to deliver a potent "Miss Tinkle's Overture" that showed off the dueling guitar work of Bayliss and Jake Cinninger. The set's final heavy hitter was "Ocean Billy," which wasn't extended beyond the song's normal boundaries, yet still had its moments. Umphrey's returned after the encore break with their first version of The Beatles's "I Am The Walrus" in over 100 shows. Cinninger used the opportunity to leave the stage for a stroll through the orchestra without missing a note. A spot-on rendition of "The Fussy Dutchman" brought the evening to a close.

Photos By Scott Harris:

Setlist via All Things Umphreys:

Set 1: October Rain[1] > The Linear -> 2x2, 1348 -> Syncopated Strangers[2], White Man's Moccasins, In The Kitchen > 1348

Set 2: All In Time[3], Resolution[4] > Kashmir[5] > Resolution[6] -> Glory -> In The Kitchen[7], Miss Tinkle's Overture, Ocean Billy[8]

Encore: I Am the Walrus > The Fussy Dutchman

[1] debut, original
[2] with Entrance of the Gladiators tease
[3] with Liberty Echo jam and Spirit of the Radio (Rush) tease
[4] with Lose Yourself (Eminem) jam
[5] one verse
[6] with Norwegian Wood (The Beatles) jam and Xxplosive (Dr. Dre) teases
[7] with Thunderstruck (AC/DC) tease
[8] with Domino Theory teases

with Pipeline tease during introductions before White Man's Moccasins

UMVideo Video:

[Jake Strolls Through The Crowd]

LazyLightning Videos:


[I Am The Walrus]
[Published on: 1/19/14]

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