Wow! That's the first and most overwhelming
word that comes to me after this mind-blowing show at the Fillmore. The
acoustics were excellent, the crowd was pumped (as was I - first time seeing Umphrey's since last summer when I lived in Chicago). The opening band, the OM
Trio, was excellent - they claimed it was their first performance in several
years, but listening to these guys, you could tell that they play together all
the time still - they were tight, able to follow each other into the depths of
their musical explorations. The bassist looked like he was playing some metal,
but the grooves that came out were definitely jammy acid jazz.
came out at around 10:30. Since I haven't seen them since the Summer, I was
really surprised about the new lighting rigs - they were WILD - multicolor
lights, lasers and craziness I haven't seen from these guys before. I was very
impressed already. Then the music. Oh man, they were ON. This was one of those
shows that you had to be there to experience, but, since I started following
these guys in 2003, this concert was probably one of the most memorable. Their
sound has changed considerably since my first time seeing them. While they
always had a rock edge, for a long while they kept the jam aesthetic while
rocking out with some heavier rock. This concert was no different, but at the
same time, it WAS different. They were rocking out much more than they used to,
and their rocking out was metal-like, as opposed to hard rock. Overall, it
sounded excellent - best ever, I'd say.
The skill and the band-vibe that
these guys have gained over the last few years is absolutely amazing. In my
opinion, they are the best band around in jam rock today. And that's no small
achievement. You should download this show.