Great close to the spring 2014 tour and what proved to be a heavy handed pimp slap follower to a strong Dallas appetizer. Not surprisingly, given it was Austin, Joel Cummins and the Frequent Fliers were ready to build a house with the bricks that would be shit this night.
The party started with one of the more ominous, bass heavy openers (Le Blitz) in rotation transitioning into the ever dependable 40's. Improve was sexy and smooth, but, like my penis, short. After we all rock n' reveled in the quantities of beer we were consuming and anticipated the painful anal outpourings of tomorrow, Xanadu Farag windchimed us off into an OoO. As drums pounded and strings reverberated, I tried to tell my lame Cheese fan friends for the treat they were in for. Too fucking late, that riff split them accompanied Baylor's lyrical introspections, tearing across the expanses of their synapses with reckless abandon.
The neural carnage was far from over but, alas, respite: The ever reliable Much Obliged. Dependable for both improvisational consistency and to put a little pep in your step, dare I say funk in your trunk. If you don't catch a groove on this, you seriously should be evaluated by a doctor to determine whether you are an emotionless replicant android. Started strong building around a nice Pony Bass line, the funky improv was strong with this one. Couple beat drops later, the crowd was rabid. It didn't stop there, so begin the strongest three song series of the show.
Recently introduced Final Word has people reaching for the nearest kleenex box under the Waful whites. Great song I've really enjoyed since I first saw it at this past year's scamp and fit perfectly between the MO and, oh look, fucking 2x2. And you thought it was over, sike motherfucker, time to deep some even deeper personal relationship reflection. Metallesque jam section with some great guitar collaboration.
Standard dance party for BLBC to close a notably impressive trifectum down. I missed most of this as I was still collecting most of my viscera and appendages off the Stubb's ground post the first set stunner series.
The party refused to stop. N2F right off the bat with strong improvisation about 13+ minutes, gradually becomes bluesy before the reprise. Do recommend. Mentholated logs were being scorched to calm the souls of the unrepentant, but soon, despite their misdeeds, vindication was assured (see NOT deeper & ait).
Deeper is a lame song anyway despite this particular one being particularly uninspiring. If you take issue with that, please contact my proctologist, schedule an appointment, and check your ass for a dildo. Standard AIT to follow, which was amazing regardless. Crowd was really into it and Waful was on point with his light cues.
Then came the concert magnus opus. What all the hitch hiking, ticket scalping, and moon rocks were done for: August. The transcendent lyrical stew that accompanied this song cannot be described effectively with words, only half experienced through sound board quality MP3 turned up to 11 (and by 11, I mean until it feels like there is an F22 flying by your face). The beat from the opening August gradually fades, then those keys, MAN, those keys. Joel starts building this melodic casserole that just turns into a monstrosity of uplifting jamsandwich. The guitars come in and we start soaring toward the heavens, riding that improv powered bus known as Umphrey's McGreat.
Suddenly a BB angel starts augmenting the ascension with choice improv lyrics. I am crying at this point. Every sane person is straight up weeping. The crescendo peaks and he simply croons out: "It's not the view that's complicated." Take that and put in your third eye, Phish fan. The lift begins to fade and boom:
"And what I'm trying to say
Is its nothing but the view that changes
And if I could see above the trees, I wouldn't disagree
But I'm not the one who made it complicated."
Then the shreds of your existence are melted away by some godly rifts and pounding of the keys. I'm no man of God but, given that we were literally minutes from Easter morning, this would have been the moment Jesus would have stepped out from behind Chris playing a goddamn keytar if the fucker had any sense. Or perhaps even better, emerged from Brandon's mouth, bursting through at the highest note of the stew, climbing out like a stripper at a bachelor party. He'd just straight split out of the inhumanely outstretched mouth and be like, "Helluva stew guys, thought I'd say what's up." Of course, BB's mouth would magically restore and we'd all have a mega laugh, until Jesus got hold of our rocks, because you know he's a mooch, man. Or fuck, maybe Andy would just tear off the pubic shag and it turns out he was Jesus the whole time.
Standard Floor. Great funky Miles Davis company alongside the trombonist from the Mike Dillion Band. She was fantastic, great energy, and a complete smoke show.
Patrick Bateman said it best: "Their early work was a little too new wave for my tastes, but when Sports came out in '83, I think they really came into their own, commercially and artistically. The whole album has a clear, crisp sound, and a new sheen of consummate professionalism that really gives the songs a big boost. He's been compared to Elvis Costello, but I think Huey has a far more bitter, cynical sense of humor."
And by cynical, I mean Heart & Soul is beyond the cat's meow: its the cat's vagina. Fuck yes.
Bad Friday, sense its debute 12.31.13, has been growing on me, this being my favorite so far. Fun song with tremendous upside, would bang again.
End tour. Easter. 4/20. Austin. Great show, wish you were all there.
MO > FW > 2x2
August, August, AUGUST
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Easily the most intimate setting I've seen UM to date. The venue was small, packed, and had excellent energy. Unfortunately, I feel this night was a recovery and intermission between Beacon and Brooklyn Bowl for the band. The set wasn't nearly as fast paced or rocking as I'd have liked. However, this isn't to dissuade you from checking it, easily some of the BEST banter of the year no doubt.
Not a Domino Theory fan or Strangers, but both were typical good stuff. BB opened the Girlfriend's Better as a tribute to Manti T'eo and substituted the lyrics for "I have a girlfriend who doesn't exist." Absolutely hilarious and had the crowd really digging it. This made the night. Loved the Dump City then a nice jazz/rock Mulche's to close her out.
The Floyd cover really killed it and the Jimmy had some great improv. Although Visions of Parin isn't one of my favorites, I really thought they were about to cover Hall & Oates, really cool key teases by Joella.
Unfortunately, big mishap during an otherwise great Higgins: Stasik's bass amp was thrown into stand by because of power issues. They managed to recover. JaJunk made for a great encore: real happy to see they played it for us instead of saving it for Brooklyn!
Highlight: Girlfriend is Better (tribute to Manti T'eo)
I can commiserate with danoc, missed the intro and most of 40's due to tough travels from Boston.
N2F > Ocean Billy was monstrous and well overdue in the past few shows. There is a great Jake solo to close it out. Although I'm not a tremendous Radiohead fan, those who like them will really enjoy the rare Weird Fishes cover. Plunger was a great heavy hitter to close the first set.
22 minutes of domination to start the second set with Strings. The entire follow up was a continual rager. Wormborg, Wappy, Ex1 w/ sax were wonderful. Wappy jam was more smooth than too metal. Finally, the Life During Exodus had the crowd going absolute NUTS! Loved the Heads tribute in NY and first replay since it's intro at Milwaukee. Not a huge Booth Love fan myself, but I enjoyed it. The reprise of Strings was expected and welcomed, great close to their first performance at the Beacon.
Personal Highlights: Wappy > Ex1, LDE
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It was a sultry night on the Boston wharf made even more infernal by the UM face meltage beneath the Pavilion lights. Marked the 2nd performance of Crucial Taunt (Wayne's World tribute) and the 5th of Comma Later. My first for both of these tunes made it a memorable night. Unfortunately, it was only a one set performance. Still made for an awesome time. The Resolution > 2x2 was by and far the best part of the show. Check it out.
This for me also marked my deflowering at the hand's of UM.
The Jaws theme was played as the band took the stage and set up. Added an erie effect coupled by Waful's reds on stage. The jump into JaJunk was set up perfectly with this. MO > 1348 was a major highlight for me. The Wife Soup transition back to JaJunk was seamless and definitely deserves some attention. A lot of heavy hitters (Bridgeless, Wappy, Cem2) and the crowd made it a really high octane show. Morning Song was probably the slowest moment of the show and was still masterfully performed.
Little did I know until a handful of shows later and the DVD release, how special of an experience it truly was. Remains one of my favorite shows to date! 9/10