It’s March. St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, NCAA basketball tournament and Umphrey’s McGee in Los Angeles. It’s a rite of Spring out here on the West coast. This year was no different and we got to wrap up their tour proper at the Wiltern Theater on Saturday night with a near full house of UMPhreaks.
Over the years I have seen this band a number of times and one thing I can be sure of. You never really know what kind of UM show you’re going to get…unless it’s in LA. They are very aware of where they are and what the crowd likes and the LA version of Umphrey’s is a hard rockin’, heavy crunch driven, balls out metal rock version of the Chicago prog-jam band.
SETLIST 3/26/2016, Wiltern Theater, Los Angeles, CA
Set 1: Le Blitz>Educated Guess, The Crooked One>Example 1, Attachements, Soul Food (*)>Treacherous Creatures (&)>Glory(*), Piranhas>Wizard Burial Ground
Set 2: 40’s Theme, Puppet String>Daffodils>Wappy Sprayberry>The Bottom Half, Hurt Bird Bath, Hindsight
Encore:Ignition, Upward>Puppet String Reprise
- w/ Arthur Barrow on Bass
& First time played, Frank Zappa cover
Now for my stats…
So, I rolled in early because there was a pre-UM party at the Novel Cafe next door to the Wiltern where The Higgs were kicking off the night. They had special guest, Charlie Hornsby (cousin of Bruce Hornsby) on keys so, I didn’t want to miss that. Just as they finished it was time to roll into the Wiltern and catch TAUK who were kicking off the night for Umphrey’s. I’d never seen TAUK but had heard good things and a few bits and pieces of their music on XM’s JamOn radio station. They did not disappoint the crowd delivering an hour long funk-jam set of instrumentals.
A month prior to this show, Joel Cummings, UM’s keyboardist, played a small show in Santa Monica, CA with Jason Hann from String Cheese, Marcus Rezak and Jess Clayton from FlightWave and Arthur Barrow from Frank Zappa band on bass. I had a sneaky suspicion that we might see one of them as guests. Sure enough, Arthur Barrow came out first set for a 1-2 combo punch of Soul Food I>Treacherous Creatins (Zappa song)>Glory (which they performed at the Santa Monica show). A tasty treat indeed.
Second set kicked off with a jam (they’ve got it listed as 40’s Theme) that led into Puppet String and the high driving energy never stopped all they way through the Puppet String Reprise at the end of the encore. The show wrapped up at nearly 1 am (an hour later than expected) and everyone left smiling.
Thanks, UM for bringing down the house in LA one more time. Looking forward to seeing you again next year…or sooner!