All Things Umphrey's > Pookells → Reviews

Pookells December 4, 2012
First off, I have to say that I think this is the best show from 2011, and those who attended this show were truly blessed to have seen this.

Set 1 kicks off with Example 1. The Example 1 is pretty standard until they get to the jam section of the song. The jam in this is a mid tempo rocking jam with tons of solos going all over the place, and it is this jam that pretty much sets the mood for the remainder of the show. They get into a high-energy version of Got Your Milk that, again, has a hard rocking stew with plenty of guitar fireworks from Jake and Brendan. It's probably the best Milk I've heard these guys do. Milk segues quite nicely into #5. #5 rocks pretty hard as well and has a sweet heavy stew in it as well. Milk -> #5 clocks in at over 25 minutes in length. They do a nice cover of Fool In The Rain, and although Brendan is no Robert Plant vocally, his vocals are adequate in this version. While this version isn't bad at all, it is probably the weakest link in this show (I use the term "weakest" in the loosest sense of the word). Search 4 comes out just as hard rocking as the Death By Stereo studio version and fits in perfectly with the rest of the hard rock in this set. The set finishes off with Last Man Swerving > Believe The Lie. Last Man Swerving is an 18+ minute treat, and has a nice long jam that can only be best described as 70's prog-disco. Not funky and not hard rock either. Imagine Animals-era Pink Floyd with some disco elements and you get the picture. Believe The Lie rocks harder than what you normally hear in this song live and has some nice 70's prog that seems to be somewhat inspired by Kansas, but is done in UM's unique way. Check out the guitar solos that kick in at the 7:12 point of the song - Jake and Brendan do some serious (but short) shredding!

Set 2 kicks off with a nearly 31 minute long DBK. Again, keeping in the hard rock/prog theme of the show, this is one of the hardest rocking DBKs they've done. If you don't catch yourself playing air guitar during the first 8 minutes of DBK, then you need to check your pulse. At around the 8:05 mark, the band throws down some of the same style of 70's prog-disco that was done on Last Man Swerving without repeating what was done during Last Man Swerving (I hope that sentence made sense). Between 8:05 and the 21 minute mark, there's a lot going on with this jam as this jam conjures up Animals-era Pink Floyd, jazzy interludes and even some Metallica-like shredding at around the 20:30 mark. The jam changes into a jazzy section at the 21 minute mark that lasts until the 26:40 mark. At 26:40, the jam gets heavy with seriously fast rhythm guitar that puts Metallica to shame and then goes back to the jazzy section. The last minute is the outro riff of DBK. Next comes a hard rocking I Am The Walrus that is quite stellar with some kick-ass Jake solos throughout. Even The Bottom Half rocks harder than usual and UM takes the song into a slightly different direction than usual with the Simple Gifts jam, and contains a hard rock ending. Slacker, like every other song here, is a harder version with a bluesy section at about 2:40 that sounds like ZZ Top experimenting with jazz styles. And then if you hadn't had enough, they bring down the house with an insane Wizard Burial Ground that will just leave your jaw on the ground.

Even Bright Lights as the encore is a hard rocking version as well.

Overall, this show is completely worth the purchase! As I stated in the beginning, this is the best show of 2011. Unfortunately, it's also overlooked as this show was sandwiched in between the 10/29 Hauntlanta and 11/5 Milwaukee shows. This is a 13 song show, which is very reminiscient of the 2006-2008 era, plus the 5 song 2nd set is a throwback to that era as well. It displays the harder side of UM and is a consistent theme throughout the show.

You can check out this show on youtube. Just type in umphrey's mcgee clifton park and watch the videos of this show that were put up by axanodus.

Enjoy this show! Well worth the $$.

Pookells November 2, 2012
When you look at the amount of songs on the setlists, you can tell that this is not an improv-heavy show by any means. That is not to say that this is a bad show. In fact, this show is just pure fire, in my opinion.

Set 1 kicks off with Catshot that segues nicely into Mantis. Taking no break in-between, UM adds a little funk into the mix and goes directly into Space Funk Booty. Slacker pops up next and has some nice dance-rock improv in it. Then, UM gets laid back a bit with Anchor Drops before turning up the heaviness on Go to Hell. UM then goes into chill mode with Great American > Susanah > Great American. UM then rocks again with Turn & Run with Mantis as the set closer.

Set 2 opens with a nice DBK sandwich with Floyd filling. Great improv in DBK, by the way. FF, as always, is solid, seguing into Wappy, which again, has a great slab of improv. Plunger > Synco > Plunger, while looking weird on paper, is actually really cool. They close out set 2 with Dutchman.

Come Closer is my favorite UM mashup song, so it was really cool to hear this as an encore.

In a nutshell, outside of Slacker, DBK and Wappy, you will not find much in the way of improv, but what UM lacks in improv, they more than make up with a high energy performance. While I did not attend this show, I was told by those who attended that it was a pretty wild crowd and that UM fed off of that energy.

If you're not hung up on the amount of improv, this is a great show to pick up!

Pookells October 22, 2012
Wow, where do I start with this show? I wasn't actually at this one, but I bought this one a couple of months ago, and I'm here to tell you that this EASILY an all-time top 3 UM show!

The show kicks off with some hip-hop on the PA (I'm not hip to hip-hop so I couldn't even begin to tell what was being played over the PA) that gets warped sounding, almost as if Pink Floyd's Ummagumma got mixed into the PA, and then segues into Eat. The minute or so long intro of Eat segues into a 15 minute Bottom Half and seguing back into Eat. Next comes an excellent version of Example 1. Tribute is hands down the funkiest Tribute I've ever heard, but then again the theme of set 1 is pretty much spaced-out heavy funk. Really tripped out stuff in this first set.

The 2nd set kicks off with a 32 minute Crooked, and holy smokes, is it fantastic! The setlist only notes a Paint It Black tease, which occurs towards the end, but the epic jam in here is pretty much metal. In this jam is War Pigs and riffs that sound like what was the origins of "The Devil's In The Details" from the OHMphrey CD, Posthaste. This is the best Crooked that these ears have heard! Next comes Intentions, which again has a nice long jam to it as well. They close Set 2 with Kitchen and Mullet, which are also outstanding. Plus, it's a 4 song 2nd set, and you can't complain about that.

The encore is nice, too - a Synco sandwich with a Hey 19 filling. Hey 19 is one of my fave covers that UM performs and I love Synco anyways, so the encore was pure WIN.

If you haven't heard this show, then drop what you're doing and get this show ASAP! Trust me, you won't regret it at all. Can't say enough good about this show. Seriously.

Pookells October 20, 2012
This was first (and only, so far) UM show. While this isn't the best show of 2012, it is a pretty damned solid show! The show kicks off with Cummins that segues nicely into Crooked (which possesses a nice, but standard jam). Intentions is great and has a great jam (vocals are a bit weak compared to other live versions). Glory is pretty standard. RtB is probably the best live RtB I've heard out of the other live versions I've heard. Deeper sandwiched by Nemo is pretty sweet. Now to the jam of the night - Smell The Mitten! Clocking in at 15 minutes, Mitten has some sweet improv that includes a snippet of Steve Miller Band's "Abracadabra", and the last 5 minutes is just a dance party!

Set 2 kicks off with Tinkles, which was a nice set opener. Virtue is the 2nd best jam of the night with a nice stew thrown in there. Walletsworth is standard, but very good. Let's Dance is quite faithful to the Bowie original. Day Nurse is just a nice dance party, Conduit was OK. The drum duel between Kris and Andy is way cool, haven't seen that on a lot of setlists. 1348 and The Floor end the 2nd set with a strong finish. The Prowler > 1348 encore is OK, but way too short (probably due to the 12:30am curfew UM had to deal with). All in all, pretty solid show. Not 2012's best, but definitely not 2012's worst either. It is better than the 3/23 show in Portland, IMO.