Umphrey’s McGee @ LC Pavilion, Columbus, OH [02.04.11]

I made my third solo trip to a show last night to see Umphrey’s McGee tear it up in Columbus at the LC Pavilion.

Just as I walked through the entrance I saw the guys taking the stage — unintentional perfect timing on my part.

They opened with a “Jazz Odyssey” jam and then broke right into “Search 4” before really getting things going with “Partyin’ Peeps.”

They’d explore a trancy jam that crescendoed with one of my all time favorites, “Nothing Too Fancy,” that blew the roof off the place as everyone bounced back and forth with the infectious riff.

An impressive and lengthy “Uncle Wally” would follow as glow sticks began to be tossed around the crowd and occasionally on stage.

Next Cinniger and Bayliss would trade soaring guitar solos as they played “2×2 -> Jimmy Stewart -> 2×2” and multiple glow sticks were tossed at the band on stage. Following the end of “2×2” Bayliss held up a glow stick and announced:

These are no longer clever. If you’re going to throw shit at us throw your bras or your weed. We’d appreciate that, thank you.

Instantly three bras and a few joints were tossed on stage to which Bayliss rejoiced, “Much better! It’s Friday night, why don’t you start acting like it.” After one bra landed perfectly on Bayliss’s mic stand the rest were hung around on stage as well.

They would cap off the first set with a rockin’ cover of Stone Temple Pilot’s “Interstate Love Song” that in all honesty was better than any version I’ve seen by STP.

The second set would start off with yet another favorite of mine, the groove heavy “Wappy Sprayberry” that after nearly twenty minutes of jamming ubruptly gave way to an amazing “Spires” that was met with a deafening roar.

A reggae infused version of “Push The Pig” came next that would eventually turn into a heavy dark jam. “Believe The Lie” would immediately follow with “All In Time” teases after which Bayliss announced, “My friend Ryan [Stasik] wants to know if you guys want to get dirty.” The crowd responded with raucous cheers and they broke into a funky version of the Talking Heads’ “Girlfriend Is Better” to which the crowd joyously sang along with every yelp.

After another abrupt ending, the mellow intro to “Ocean Billy” followed before it turned into a face-melting jam and finally into the ending of “Nothing Too Fancy” to close out the second set.

A short encore break would follow before Umphrey’s returned to finish the night off with an encore of crowd favorite “Hangover” as everyone sang along. The remainder of “Ocean Billy” from earlier finished off the encore and left everyone still wanting more.

Despite last weeks departure of long time sound carresser Kevin Browning, Umphrey’s sounded perfect thanks to Chris Mitchell stepping up to fill those giant shoes. The lights by Jeff Waful were as amazing as always and the band themselves were most definitely in sync.

Though it was another solo trek I made to see Umphrey’s it was definitely worthwhile. The energetic crowd, amazing setlist, and the night’s jams combined for one of the best shows I’ve seen from UM, even rivaling the raging Rothbury sets and their Cleveland show last year. Keep it up dudes.

Summer Camp can’t come soon enough.