Show Reviews

    Umphreys Portland

    23
    The Crystal Ballroom
    Portland,OR March 19 & 20th
    by Anthony Ruvalcaba
     
     
     

    Being my first Umphrey’s McGee show, I had high expectations walking up to the legendary Crystal Ballroom. What lay ahead of me was more than anyone could have expected for the two day Portland,OR run. Thursday night started off with high energy from the opening band, The Revivalists, who got intimate with the crowd and got everyone in high spirits.

    UM spent no time getting down to business with a very well organized mix of You Got the Wrong Guy > Similar Skin > Miami Virtue > Similar Skin. By the end of the first set, everyone is well enough comfortable with the sprung floor that it’s become second nature dancing between the music, the flow of people and the ground moving underneath all of that.
    Coming into the second set they kept up the heat with All in Time and then a pleasant change of pace halfway through the set with a rendition of Bad Friday > Nothin’ Too Fancy that blew the socks off even the middle-school kids who joined their mother in the all-age festivities.
     
     

    Just coming to grips with the previous night’s show, I was surprised with a message from a friend telling me she had talked to Joel Cummins about an organization she had started called Moderagin’ Movement. A movement that Umphrey’s McGee has agreed to support as it promotes moderate lifestyle choices at shows. Being told it would be sold out, I had no other choice but to go for Round Two!

     
    Keeping up with the after-glow of the previous night starting with Gurgle > Cut the Cable it was almost a direct shout out to moderation and it sent me into a frenzy of joy that lasted through a unique rendition of Resolution and set break.

    Finally calming down enough to handle some more UM, I come in just as Bright Lights, Big City [“Jimmy Stewart” with vocals] starts up and the roughly 2,000 person ballroom is bouncing more than anyone should think safe. With a completely different display of lights as the night before you can tell the rest of the night had a lot in store for the audience.

    Just before encore the entire ballroom is erupting in a mixture of excited yells and people singing along as Patrick, Brendan Bayliss’s brother, hops on stage to do vocals for The Pixie’s cover of Where Is My Mind.
    Both nights were such perfect displays of energy and raw emotion Umphrey’s McGee has been bringing to the stage and to their music, that I don’t doubt everyone went home with a special feeling inside only experienced after an Umphrey’s McGee show.
     
    ~ Anthony Ruvalcaba
     

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