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umphalex July 19, 2014
Umphrey's first sell out show at Red Rocks never disappointed throughout the entire evening. A debut opener was to be expected from such a magical venue and the first sell out which will hopefully bring two nights at the rocks next year. Melded perfectly into conduit which has a great rock/psychedelic jam to it that reaches a good level and dumps off into a standard version of cut the cable. Jajunk gets the treatment and ends up being one of my favorite jams of the night. Joel takes it to another level with the dance infused funk keys, but the entire band is on point and brings jajunk to a place like I've never heard before... Seamless transition into an always welcomed Ocean Billy which set the tone for the first set and let you know that it was going to be a rager of an evening. Awesome placement and choice on putting Gents in the jam portion of ocean billy. Originally an in the kitchen jam which has gotten the Umbowl treatment but I believe was first at the Belly Up in aspen last year. It has an in and out jam which keeps dumping back and forth and has a great tone. This is one cranked up All in Time next that has instant classic rocker written all over it. Midway through the jam in All in Time I can remember thinking that the first set was already nuts and they would be wrapping up the first set after that. But then we got the always gorgeous notes from Jake playing Jerry's 74 guitar to end of the road. Educated Guess was an awesome treat to get debuted and was playing in my head throughout the next morning. Set 2 opens with Jake calling out Kris Myers on the kit and getting right down to it with the second Little Gift which has some good rock qualities that get you in the UM frame of mind. Bridgeless is where the band starts to jump off and take us into a jam filled evening with fresh takes on everything being played. Very rock/funk oriented bridgeless that no one wanted to ever end which moves into the funky dance groove of Bad Friday. Dominic Lalli blows up on Bad Friday and there wasn't a person not dancing in that place. My second favorite jam of the night came with Dump City... I went absolutely nuts when I heard the first notes of dump city, and I feel this song should get the treatment way more often! Very dark oriented space groove that allows the listener to dance but also blast off into a little weirder space. Slacker has a good jam on it that has Joel offering some really fresh licks on the piano and a good old nostalgic rock and roll feel to it. Wappy sprayberry offers its typically awesome dance party and it never ceases to amaze me how many different jams they keep putting into this song. A fitting back side of Jajunk to close out the night and let everyone know how far UM has come as a band and being one of the tightest, if not the tightest, band today. I couldn't have asked for a more perfect encore being a gigantic Band fan...Ophelia invites some horns out to take a classic look at this classic cover. Haji has always been a fan favorite and gave me gigantic chills and goosebumps with Brendan's lyrics echoing throughout the rocks. If that wasn't enough then they made sure to seal a perfect night with the raucous back side of bridgeless that left no one in doubt of how powerful a show this really is.

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