November 15, 2006
Chicago's favorite improvisational unit, Umphrey's McGee, came to Cincinnati's Bogarts on November 15 and delivered a performance filled with intricate musical twists and turns.
Opening the show with "Prowler" off of 2003's Local Band Does O.K., UM relied heavily on the fluid rhythm section of Ryan Stasik on bass guitar and Andy Farag on percussion. After a powering "Resolution," the band dipped into material from it's latest release, Safety in Numbers. Brendan Bayliss's relaxed vocal treatment of "Intentions Clear" played against type as Jake Cinninger's lead fretwork balanced the number with swirling, stabbing bursts of discordant glory.
UM switched gears and bass players on "Ocean Billy," with Stasik handing his instrument over to Cincinnati's Nick Blasky of Ray's Music Exchange. But, the song's spotlight shined brightly on keyboardist Joel Cummins as he layered the ensemble's gradual drive with creative flourishes headed off by an epic finale fueled with sonic grandeur.
The evening's highlight proved to be the one-two punch of "Pay the Snucka" followed by a ferocious cover of Pink Floyd's "Young Lust." Umphrey's McGee rounded out the concert by returning to Local Band Does O.K. with a scintillating version of "White Man's Moccasins" that had the Bogart's revelers sated through UM's characteristic Zappa influenced quirky melodiousness and triggered, note bending dexterity.