Photos | Review | Umphrey's McGee | Bridgeport

Words by: Alex Anastas & Oliver Burkat | Images by: Alex Anastas

Umphrey's McGee :: 08.11.2012 :: Klein Memorial Auditorium :: Bridgeport, CT

Full review below photo gallery!

Umphrey's McGee by Alex Anastas

Approaching the Klein Memorial Auditorium, it felt like fans missed a memo that the Greater Bridgeport Symphony would be on the bill. The 70-year-old art deco hall has previously hosted an array of personalities, including both the late George Carlin and Martin Luther King, Jr. Marking Umphrey's McGee’s first time at the auditorium, and only their second indoor show all summer, production staff considered the fan experience. The PA pumped into all lobby, bar and bathroom areas. Like a day at the ballpark, one couldn’t go anywhere without knowing the “score” pouring off stage. Additionally, lighting designer Jefferson Waful took advantage of the intimate space, mounting his toys everywhere, even on the walls.

At the stroke of 9pm, the six-headed monster opened with the segued foreplay of “Nipple Trix” > “2nd Self”. “Miami Virtue” followed as the only tune to appear all night from Umphrey’s most recent album, Death by Stereo. Bassist Ryan Stasik took a moment to celebrate Brendan Bayliss’ birthday with crowd-led cheers of “Fuck you Joel!” before getting the dance party going with low-end led “Kabump”. Set closing “2x2” left many smiling into the break with moody soundscapes, effortless superhero bliss, a “Star Wars” tease, and a Happy Birthday sing-a-long for Bayliss.

Umphrey's McGee by Alex Anastas

Set two turned out to be a real ear-pleaser, incorporating multiple covers and revisits, all rolled up in classic UM. Opening with the vamp of “Gurgle”, Umphrey’s ignited a blistering “1348”, the chunky reprise of which would later close out the set. Sandwiched in the middle of a schizophrenic and calculated “Plunger”, Andy Farag took center stage for a take on the Warren G and Nate Dogg classic “Regulate”. "I’m tweaking into a whole new era, G-Funk, step to this, I dare ya, Funk, on a whole new level, the rhythm is the bass and the bass is the treble," fittingly states where both band (and perhaps crowd) find themselves in 2012. The frenetic pace launched a monstrous “Nothing Too Fancy” > “Ocean Billy”, justifying Umphrey's mantra "too much rock for one hand" \mm/. “Wappy Sprayberry” bounced with ease in and out of “Jimmy Stewart”, further demonstrating just a little more virtuosity for the kids.

The special birthday curve balls were capped with an encore debut of Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets”, belted out as a request by none other than b-boy B. Bayliss. Using a third revisited tune in the same set to melt and stretch faces to grin, “Nothing Too Fancy” fittingly reprised to drive the final nail in the rock coffin.

Set One: Nipple Trix > 2nd Self, Miami Virtue > Words, Kabump > Passing, 2x2*

Set Two: Gurgle > 1348 > Plunger > Regulate > Plunger, Nothing Too Fancy > Ocean Billy, Partyin’ Peeps, Wappy Sprayberry > “Jimmy Stewart”** > Wappy Sprayberry > 1348

Encore: Bennie and the Jets$ > Nothing Too Fancy

* with Start Wars teases; followed by Happy Birthday for Brendan
** with lyrics
$ debut, Elton John; with Echoes (Pink Floyd) teases; Brendan's birthday request

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[Published on: 8/20/12]

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