Images by: Susan J. Weiand
Umphrey’s McGee :: 03.17.12 :: Fox Theater :: Oakland, CA
Umphrey’s McGee :: 03.18.12 :: Harlow’s :: Sacramento, CA
UM's West Coast Tour continues tonight, March 22, in Seattle, WA and tomorrow, March 23, in Portland, OR. More details here.
Full photo gallery below recaps!
Last Saturday night, Umphrey's McGee and The Mother Hips made their Fox Theater debuts. One would be hard pressed to find two more together bands in 2012, each playing their unique brand of rock with tremendous confidence, muscle and flair, even if their styles are radically different with the Hips thriving on a certain degree of barely controlled wildness and Umphrey’s charging with focused, fiercely practiced intensity. Kudos to Umphrey’s folks for inviting the Northern California combo to open for them both in Oakland and Los Angeles, and the contrast was sharp but pleasant at the Fox, though the Hips definitely threw out some jammier lines than usual in their rollicking 45 minute set, which included standout performances of “Magazine,” “Chum” and even a little Zeppelin quotation near the end that fired folks up. But the main show of the night was Umphrey’s and their sprawling, instrumental heavy two-set performance, which possessed a manic, enveloping energy that gave the non-vocal sections a rave-like vibe – accentuated by the ever-artful, always-impactful lighting work of Lighting Director Jefferson Waful, who continually knocks this writer’s socks off with his ability to add tangible dimensions to the UM live experience - though punctuated by UM’s usual inspired cover choices (Pink Floyd’s “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” proving especially moving and effective). While not a full blown member of Umphrey’s inner cult, I never cease to be amazed by how unique they are and how they’ve melded a lot of powerful elements into their own voice, and Oakland definitely affirmed that impression and reminded one of why they’ve attracted (and maintain) such a fiercely dedicated fan base. (Dennis Cook)
|Umphrey’s McGee by Susan J. Weiand|
Oakland Umphrey’s McGee Setlist
Set One: Gurgle > Divisions > White Man's Moccasins, Through the Cracks, Tribute to the Spinal Shaft > The Bottom Half, Red Tape > I'm On Fire > Divisions
Set Two: Flamethrower > 40's Theme, Miami Virtue > "Jimmy Stewart" > Shine on You Crazy Diamond > Miss Tinkle's Overture*, Ocean Billy, Bright Lights Big City
Encore: JaJunk > Come As Your Kids > JaJunk
* with Masoko Tanga jam
After playing a huge show in Oakland the night before, Umphrey's McGee decided to play tiny Harlow's in Sacramento, a small 300 capacity music club. Early on, Brendan Bayliss commented on how they had never played in Sacramento so it was time. With a stage and room so small you literally felt like you were on stage with the musicians, who played necessarily stripped down rigs. Simply put, this room provided the intimacy that larger halls just can’t. Working with the house lights alone, LD Jefferson Waful managed to make the band look good and even turned to the trusty mirror ball for inspiration. Appearing maybe a wee bit tired from St Paddy's Day revelry, the band proceeded to play an all-out dance party show; very old school, harkening back to the club shows in their early career. Long jams dominated the setlist, especially in the second set with a nice cover of Toto's "Roseanna" thrown into the mix. "Hangover" was an obvious choice and the crowd really got funky with their bad selves and headaches. Encoring with "A Fifth of Beethoven," the audience pleaded for one more and the band obliged with "Kimble' before sending the sweaty masses out into the damp valley night. (Susan J. Weiand)
|Umphrey’s McGee by Susan J. Weiand|
Sacramento Umphrey’s McGee Setlist
Set One: Nipple Trix > 2nd Self, Dump City, The Linear, Alex's House, Robot World > Steppin' Razor > Mail Package
Set Two: Nothing Too Fancy > Rosanna > "Jimmy Stewart" > Nothing Too Fancy, Uncle Wally > No Comment > Hangover, Utopian Fir
Encore: Fifth of Beethoven, Kimble
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