Umphrey’s McGee January 20th, 2012 Best Buy Theater New York, NY

Umphrey’s McGee

Set One
Jazz Odyssey > Booth Love > Rocker Part 2, Conduit > “Jimmy Stewart” > Conduit, Tribute to the Spinal Shaft > Passing > Utopian Fir

Set Two
40’s Theme, Der Bluten Kat > drums^ > All Night Long^ > Der Bluten Kat, The Linear > “Jimmy Stewart” > The Linear > Ringo
Encore
Divisions
Notes
The London Souls opened
^ with Jake on percussion

A Friday night in Times Sq and winter has finally hit.  Cold Air, wind, little snow on the ground..but the hippies will always find a way.  Surprisingly, this show only sold out a couple hours before they hit the stage.  I had never been to an Umphrey’s show, but heard they had some real followers.  I believe they have been on tour for close to fifteen years, and have built up some faithfuls.  I only got into them the last year and was still warming up to their sound.  They have some Lotus, Biscuits, STS9 in them..but they definitely are not that far on the electric side of the jam band spectrum.  I had been listening to new tunes on their albu,, “Death By Stereo”, and felt very fortunate to.  They have a deep bass in their sound that is nicely droning to the senses.  I was ready to experience the real deal with these guys..

Quick note on the Best Buy..its in the middle of Times Square, so your just gonna have to deal with some of the glitz in the theater (its clean and shiny.)  Surprisingly, the prices are not too bad..its a fairly comfortable theater..the floor is ridiculous, as most are, push n shove..the second level is a little better, and the seating has some space..its tough to get a good view here.  the second level, maybe the best option..has way too much movement..its brutal.  I thought this only happened at the Biscuits show, but it occurred for this one too..an issue.  Your either packed on the floor, cant maintain focus or see on the second level, or feel great from the seats, but at a distance.

These guys sounded good..they drone the senses.  You can really feel their beat and want to move with it.  Its a little spacey, a little slow..not prime dancing music.  It wont let you go crazy..but the mellow beat is very soothing.  I was so glad to hear them open with, essentially, “Booth Love.”  Great song off their new album.  The beat is just so chill.  I was not too familiar with the remainder of the first set.  They all had a good groove to them..its tough to get to know the tunes without as many lyrics..and esp. with the improvisational jams..my friend Doug explained this to me, and Im wondering if that decreases band popularity..

Second set was solid. We had a nice mellow start with the 40’s theme, Der Bluten Kat and some dreams…but then we all had to whip our lighters out..we were getting a sick cover..Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long.”  The place was rockin’ and we were feelin good.  A little more Jimmy Stewart felt good in the second set and finishing it off with Ringo was a nice finish.  Division was a solid lil Encore and we capped off a decent night.

Id probably rate this a little higher, but I think the venue decreases attention and appreciation..

Rating: 7.5

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