Two days after the release of The Bottom Half [Sci Fidelity Records] Umphrey’s McGee rolled into St. Louis and unleashed one of the most genre-bending shows a music lover could ever want to see. The band’s supreme musical skill and knowledge allows them to seamlessly jump from jazz to metal in a matter of seconds. This uncanny ability to take a song and run it through the gauntlet of genres is what really makes Umphrey’s an exciting live act.
The band got into some hot tunes right off the bat, jumping into their song “Bright Lights,” featured on the new album. Soon after was “Mullet,” a tune that could have been played by the Reverend Horton Heat himself. It was a brave move, leaving everyone wondering how in the hell they successfully mixed a song with a techno-funk-trance-rock theme with rockabilly. I felt like I wanted a pair of suspenders and a newsy cap. This is the beauty and appeal that Umphrey’s possess, and you’d be hard-pressed to find another band right now that can do music as a whole like the boys in Umphrey’s can do music.
Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger man the axes and play together with such a flow; whether they’re pulling off quick licks in harmony or even dueling in a solo a la Thin Lizzy. Joel Cummins is Umphrey’s piano whiz, while Andy Farag on percussion, Kris Meyers on drums, and Ryan Stasik on Bass lay they most ridiculous rhythms this side of Heaven. This show in particular was special for the rhythm section as it was Mr. Kris Meyer’s birthday, which he celebrated by kicking everyone’s ass throughout the entire show.
The fact of the matter is if you want to see a great live show with a band that slings music from all over the palette at you all night long then Umphrey’s is the show for you.
Photo by Brett Saui from the Umphrey’s McGee website