Saw Umph last year. Pretty sweet and they can definitely ******* jam.
Their show on Friday was something completely different than last year. I went into it recently hearing a saying "If you've seen Umphrey's twice, you've seen them a thousand times", and it is true. They are such talented, well rounded musicians that they can play any music very well. They have a constant ability to create that groove almost the whole way through, but compared to Roo, Friday's set was much heavier, and even metal, and I ******* dug it. I was no more than 10 feet from the stage at any given time, and not only was everything about the music incredible, but seeing their chemistry on stage, their ability to lock onto one another at times, their ability to go from completely different moods, and even genres of music within one song is something that anyone who appreciates live music will get a boner over. You had everything from young hippies to old bikers, businessmen and other suits and ties there, some of them, rocking and grooving just as much as the people there that were "on the opposite end of the people spectrum", so to speak. It was almost like a mini Bonnaroo in that sense.
Definitely one of my more favorite shows I've been to. I had a few moments where I know I was non-verbally communicating to the bassist and the keyboardist throughout the night, and you could tell that each of the band members (except for the drummers who were in back) had a group of people in the crowd that they were communicating with. Definitely one of my favorite bands to see live, not only for the music, but their interaction with each other and the crowd. At one point in their first set a group of hippie chicks found their way to where I was and I became the center of their attention for a while. I was still focused on the stage, but I'm pretty sure they were all rolling or something and I ended up having the one who looked like she had recently dreaded hair grab my hands, put them around her hips and grooved for a while. I didn't care either way, she was cute as hell, short and petite with a cute face, but it was something I haven't really done during a show. I go there for the music, but it added a little bit to it to my music going experience. There was a moment in the second set where they were playing Exodus and (I think) their heavier version of a Rolling Stones Song, but the lights on stage would switch from red, yellow and green while playing Exodus to black and white in the other part of the mashup, and then half of the band would be in the colors of Exodus, while the other half in black and white, but the one half was playing real groovy, jammy, reggae-ey style during the Rolling Stones part. And then it would switch back and forth. One of the most interesting things I've ever seen musically speaking, in terms of how they intermingled the two contrasting types of music so perfectly. This song was one of them moments where I saw the keyboard player look at me, saw that I had a black and white button-up shirt (that was unbuttoned from me being hot from dancing) with a shirt I'd found earlier that day my aunt had gotten me from when she was in Jamaica, so the shirts I was wearing matched the colors on stage. I saw the bassist look at the keyboardist angle his head toward me, keyboardist looked at me they both had a smile/smirk type face (probably because I looked like a fool how hard I was grooving at this point, lol), and I looked back at them with probably a similar type of face and mouthed "holy ****" (begins with f) and the bassists saw it and gave a nod. This all happened while the bass player switched from playing a more melodic, jammy type of groove, back to a more in the pocket, rocking groove, and then back. My friend who I was there with saw it too I think at tapped me on the shoulder and asked what it was and I just showed him my shirts and he laughed. The night was full of moments like that, and I could talk about it way too long, but I won't. And oh yeah it snowed while we were there! I personally would recommend these guys to anyone who likes live music. The show was cheap, the music is incredible, diverse, and intense. No matter what you're favorite type of music is, you'll find aspects of it in their music, while finding an appreciation for the ones you don't necessarily usually call your favorite. At least I did anyway.
It wouldn't be fair to post this without mentioning their opening band, The Bright Light Social Hour. I loved this guys, they were fantastic. Another band that I can't pigeon-hole into any one genre of music. They've got that southern rock, blues, and grooviness, but also strong elements of indie and incredible two and three way harmonies. And the guitarist has a ******* voice on him. If I would have been able to find any of their merch, I would've bought their album while I was there. If you aren't familiar with either of these bands, give them a shot, you'll probably like what you hear a lot.
Here's one of BLSH's songs they played at the show, and its a solid representation of their music, I'd say...
Nanna Bryndís Hilmarsdóttir is a goddess
They were in the south toward the end of the summer, they had two pretty decent "Gentlemen of the Road" stops, one I almost went to. Not to worry, they'll be adding dates in the southeast, I'm sure.
Yeah, they were in Bristol, TN this past summer. But tickets sold out in an instant, and then went for 3x the price after that. They ******* love Nashville though, so they'll undoubtedly be back there eventually.