Umphrey’s Mcgee puts on a lively performance

by David Dixon

Umphrey’s McGee brought its eclectic style of music to the House of Blues last Friday. Beau Blackburn / Photographer
Umphrey’s McGee brought its eclectic style of music to the House of Blues last Friday. Beau Blackburn / Photographer

The six members of progressive rock band Umphrey’s McGee came to the House of Blues last Friday for an endlessly entertaining evening. Performing music since 1997, the group played to a pretty packed house that got into the vibe from the very first song.

To start the night off, independent techno band Big Gigantic performed for about 45 lively minutes. Frontman Dominic Lalli never seemed to take a break during the set, keeping busy with keyboard, saxophone and using a computer for playing background music. Jeremy Salken, the only other member of the group, also kept busy playing the drums on every single tune. What made the music unique was the jazz elements infused into the songs. The rhythms that came from the sax, as well as the drums, had audience members cheering.

What did not always work as well were the attempts to fuse hip-hop into the mix. For some reason, the two contrasting styles took a while to click. It might have been because the acoustics were at times too loud for the venue.

Toward the end, the diverging styles came together when the band performed a remix of Aloe Blacc’s single, “I Need a Dollar.” Everything seemed to effectively blend harmoniously at that point.

The main act of the evening, Umphrey’s McGee, started with the song “Spires” in which the mysterious chorus is sung by the moving guitarist and vocalist Brendan Bayliss. Each song seemed to shift tone, ranging from reggae jams to upbeat dittys about cellphones.

All band members contributed nicely to the music. Keyboardist Joel Cummins had several impressive moments and Jake Cinninger had a couple of powerful key guitar and vocal solos as well. Most attendees were so lost in the mood and feel of the music, they were out of their seats dancing during the entire show.

A word of caution should be given to those who want to see Umphrey’s in the future. At a certain point, strobe lights went on and off at rapid and intense speeds, so anyone is prone to seizure or migraines should probably close their eyes during those moments. But for those who aren’t, prepare for a great light show.

With talented band members and nonstop quality music. Umphrey’s McGee delivered a great show. The performance was a treat for loyal fans and newcomers alike.

For more information on Umphrey’s McGee go to umphreys.com

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