Umphrey’s Tour Diary: West Coast Pt. 3

The “Jimmy Stewart” that occurred after GITV is of serious note. Pony, without warning, launched into this heavy Lego from the past and the band fell in love with it immediately. Please put this on the top of your “must listen” list, as it builds to a growling, throbbing-gristle-like peak that will terrify your grandmother. Following this was the Sweetness with Kenneally on keys which wound its way into an ABACAB jam that hammers the post-Gabriel Genesis right back down the fans throats in grand fashion. Mike would return for a rousing rendition of Ringo, as well as a vocal part in the encore where he would oh-so-slyly slip in “They got the Umphrey’s McGee T Shirts” in place of the original quip. And what would the encore be without one more disgusting Zappa-esque solo?

Photo by Mike Sherry

En route to LA…Sky Blue Sky in the disc man.

02/13/08 Crash Mansion LA, Los Angeles, CA
Dub Trio opened
Set I: All in Time, The Crooked One1> Kula, Smell the Mitten> Push the Pig2
Set II: Wizard Burial Ground> Bright Lights, Big City> White Man’s Moccasins> JaJunk> Jam3> JaJunk
Encore: Come Closer4

1 Unfinished
2 Willie Waldman (Trumpet) ; Stephen Perkins (Percussion)
3 Full band switch with ‘Dub Trio’
4 First Time Played ; A mashup of The Beatles ‘Come Together’ and Nine Inch Nails ‘Closer’, performed as mixed by DJ Zebra

Photo by Matt Ziegler

We knew going into this gig that we were in for a world of pain. The tech advance stated there was no freight elevator and the gear would have to come up 34 stair steps to the stage. The local sound tech stated they were investigating a scissor lift to assist with the load in. Not putting too much stock in this, I approached (Umphrey’s Sound Caresser Kevin) Browning with the idea we may have to think on our feet. Kevin was already prepared, as he always is, to tackle the idea of mixing in an alternative Front Of House position, like our tractor trailer…or even more creatively…from the green room.

The latter was the more realistic of the two situations and when we woke that morning, rather than be sour about the club’s inadequate accommodations, we smiled and welcomed the challenge. This is where I think we separate ourselves from a lot of crews; there’s always someone out there who knows more than you, but can they do it with a good attitude? Our spirits surely prevailed that day in downtown LA, with FOH tucked away in the green room and Kevin mixing on his trusty mobile notebook the day was under way.

A gaggle of more problems threw themselves at us with little to no success at slowing us down and we opened the doors. The second of the three of my DJ sets was fire, with Otis Whiterock adding the techy chomps and blips while I arranged the horn lines and pianos. The beats were flowing, and we really got a groove going before Umphrey’s.

I can’t say enough about this ten song show other than it was, by far, the best show of the tour musically. The All In Time opener set the tone of the room and hardly let up from there. The second set is aggressive but flowing and is all about the Bright Lights. Fluffers beware: this version has fangs…DISCO FANGS. The transition from UM>Dub Trio>UM was seamless, dubby, and dark and imploded at the next sight of JaJunk, which brought the club to peak energy. Come Closer was finally attempted and nailed for the encore, keeping up with the tradition of exploration for the last song. This mash up showed the versatility of the boys yet again, leaving us all wondering what song was next on the list.

En route to SF…can’t stop laughing.

“This is my brother Darrell, and my other brother Darrell”

Day Off in San Francisco: Stayed in bed all day watching cooking shows. Listened to some Italian techno with Jake. Watched Almost Famous.

Nothing in disc man.

That’s all of the time we have for today folks. Tune in tomorrow to see what happens as the boys make their towards San Francisco for the grand finale…

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15 Responses

  1. really great stuff wade – I love this shit – the stuff you can’t get from anywhere else other than someone watching/feeling/living it first hand!!!

  2. This is amazing Wade and Scotty. I feel like you are telling me the story personally, great great stuff. That’s my boy!!Can’t wait for the last feature!

  3. Please keep this diary going for the rest of the tour. Thanks Wade, I really enjoy reading about the journey.

  4. just finished the 1st 3 and what a great read it was. i was jamming the LA show, so it was nice to see Wade bring that up.

    Keep up the great work UM crew and we’ll see ya down souf in the spring.


  5. ditto to what everyone else said…these are awesome…great insight to not only the music but the set up and nitty gritty. Love it.

  6. can’t wait to listen to all of these shows. I hope you guys keep this up. Would be cool to read the “behind the scenes stuff” during NE shows, where we hit a bunch of them up. 🙂

  7. Pingback: Anonymous
  8. Hey, its the HOB lighting guy from san diego, Todd. Thank you for the compliment. You guys are awesome to work with as well. Nobody can pack 50 pounds worth of stuff into our 5 pound bag and be half as cool as you guys are. I hope we continue to be an annual stop off on your tour.

    peace and hairgrease,

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