The Bellwether March 23 2024 in Los Angeles, CA.

by Andy J. Gordon

Umphrey’s McGee are in the middle of a National tour and recently hit the West Coast of the United States. For their show on March 23 at The Bellwether, just west of downtown Los Angeles, they presented their usual array of heavy prog-rock staples with a few teases mixed in. The Pink Floyd cover came early in the second set. While Scott Page, that band’s prolific saxophone player waited in the wings, the band ran through an amazing version of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V).” Page eventually came out horn in hand and with a big grin on his face. He launched into a mesmerizing solo that completed the cover and was one of the highlights of the night.

The band’s distinctive blend of progressive rock, electronica, metal, trance, jazz fusion and extended instrumental jamming was in full force during their show. The Bellwether’s state of the art light system, which includes lighting fixtures throughout the house that can be synchronized with the stage effects, was perfectly suited for the band. UM Lighting engineer Ben Factor made excellent use of the system, coordinating strobes, lasers and a variety of other effects with the music, which kept the audience fascinated throughout the show.

Check out the gallery of photos from this night by Andy J. Gordon here.

Guitarist Brendan Bayliss handled most of the vocals and kept the audience engaged with clever banter. Lead guitarist Jake Cinninger, keyboardist Joel Cummins and drummer Kris Myers also contributed vocals and harmonies. Bass player Ryan Stasik busted out dense rhythms and Andy Farag complemented Myers beats with a barrage on his variety of percussion instruments.

The early part of the show included an intense “Wrong Guy” and a very trippy “Half Delayed.” They also strung together “Wappy Sprayberry” with “Miss Tinkle’s Overture” later in the first set. Bayliss asked the audience, “You like dancing?” before launching into Wappy. He and Cinninger played overlapping lead guitar solos during Tinkle that drove the crowd into a frenzy of swaying bodies, hoots and hollers.

The set wrapped up with “Plunger” segueing into a concussive “Hajimemashite.” Both Bayliss and Cinninger had swapped out their guitars for matching red, solid body Gibsons. Cinninger quipped, “this is the Angus Young special.” He proceeded to tease AC/DC’s “Back in Black” before beginning “Plunger.” For Haj, Bayliss belted out the lyrics and the song built up steam, leading to a rapid-fire, intricate solo by Cinninger before the break.

The second set had other tasty morsels in addition to the Pink Floyd cover. “Pay the Snucka” had excellent four part harmonies, thick, thumping prog beats and a complex, synthesizer solo by Cummins. The band also teased Rage Against The Machines’ “Bulls On Parade” in the middle of the song. Scott Page followed his brilliant work during “Shine On” by leading the band on an all instrumental “GM Funk,” that sounded like it came from The JB’s songbook. Andee Avila, the drummer from Andy Frasco and the UN, sat in on percussion and along with Farag and Myers, took turns soloing during that song.

The end of set included more incendiary playing by the band during “Small Strides” and “Bridgeless.” Kris Myers joined Bayliss on lead vocals during “Small Strides.” The “Bridgeless” finale was a relentless onslaught. There were crunchy, distorted rhythm guitars, thumping drums and bass lines, plus elaborate Cinninger and Bayliss solos. The band wasted no time in the wings – they quickly came back for the encore with a headbanging version of “The Floor” that left both the band members and audience spent.

Umphrey’s McGee will continue their tour across the United States. The band just announced a series of Summer 2024 dates through July. Check for all location and ticket details at

Set 1:
You Got the Wrong Guy
Pure Saturation
Half Delayed
The Crooked One
Professor Wormbog
Wappy Sprayberry
Miss Tinkle’s Overture

Set 2:
Pay the Snucka
Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V)
(Pink Floyd cover) (>)
Small Strides

The Floor

Photos courtesy of Andy J Gordon ©2024
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Check out the gallery of photos from this night by Andy J. Gordon here.

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