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

Umphrey’s McGee

After selling out a single night performance at the Best Buy last January they raised the stakes for fans for their 2012 winter run. They kicked off the tour with two nights at the venue to celebrate the band’s 14th anniversary of their incarnation. I underestimated the love that New York City heads have for this band though, cause they ended up selling out both nights. As I walked to the box office in a hopeful effort of a last minute re-release of tickets, I was pleased to hear the lady at the booth say there was one ticket left for the show. I grabbed it and made my way out of the cold and into the now officially sold out show.

The London Souls played an hour set to open the night, and I have to say I was really excited for this added bonus. I knew from seeing them at a few festivals in 2011 that were a good fit to open up the show. They are bluesy trio that has great potential and demonstrates talent from every member. Needless to say they gained a bunch of new fans from the audience who caught their set of both originals off their self titled debut album put out last year and a few covers. After a quick break, Umphrey’s took the stage to the applause of the sold out crowd. They opened with a run from “Jazz Odyssey” into “Booth Love,” the latter one of the tracks off their new album Death By Stereo. I was also convinced that in the opening riffs of both tracks I heard teases of a Pink Floyd nature from the band. The band played another selection from the new album in their first set, “Conduit.” The band has been doing heavy promotion for the album since its September 2011 release (Which was celebrated with a 4 night run at the Brooklyn Bowl).

The second set featured a real fusion of the many styles this band ranges with their music. Possibly the best of which was a run from “Der Bluten Kat” into a take on Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long” before returning into “Der Bluten Kat.” The segue into the cover featured guitarist Jake Cinninger on percussions with Andy Farag, but not before he brought together a transcendental jam with a Middle Eastern taste to it with the help of his masterful work on the slide guitar. This was definitely the highlight of the show for me, and really showed off their improvisational skill as a band. They concluded the set with a hard-rocking run from “Linear” into “Ringo” which displayed the metal sounding roots they show off as well. They ended the show with one of their most well known songs, “Divisions” and while this would be the only night of the run I could attend, the second night will definitely continue Umphreys’s McGee’s “14th Birthday Party.”

1/20/12 New York, NY

I: Jazz Odyssey>

Booth Love

Rocker II

Conduit

Tribute to the Spinal Shaft

Passing

Utopian Fir

II: 40’s Theme

Der Bluten Kat>

All Night Long*>

Der Bluten Kat

Linear>

Ringo

E: Divisions

* Lionel Richie; with Jake on percussions

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