It was the ninth stop of the Summer Umphrey's McGee tour, and the venue couldn't have been better. At just under 5,000 ft above sea level, it was truly an amazing sight. In the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Beach Mountain sits majestic and awe inspiring. The popular winter destination has now turned itself into an acclaimed summer musical venues in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. While Beech Mountain is high enough to almost never be hot, Umphrey's McGee turned the heat to a solar level on the second night of the two-show, weekend run.
When the genre smashing sonic assault that is Umphrey's McGee took the stage Saturday night, the crowd could sense greatness was in store. The band was (as they always are) on time and hit the stage at seven o'clock. The first two things I noticed were Ryan Stasik's flashy neon pink bass and a girl in the same neon pink "Kinda Famous" hat. It was like the planets had aligned and all was good with the world. One backward glance into the sea of people proved that the band had come to give the people exactly what they wanted. They rolled smoothly into "Educated Guess" and the afternoon air was instantly thick with the electricity of Jake Cinnigers' guitar. The third song of the first set was "Synchronicity II," an extremely well-executed Police cover and tribute to a band that UM identify as one of their primary influences. From there they faded straight into "Conduit" off the album Death by Stereo. The next three songs "Mullet (Over)," "Example 1" and "Draconian" are all primarily live songs and they had the crowd in their hands as set one closed.
Set two began with the intelligent Domino Theory. They faded into "Nothing Too Fancy," (also their label name) where Kris Myers and Andy Farag opened the song for the beautiful guitar work of Brandon Bayliss and Jake Cinniger. At this point all chairs are empty and everybody is on their feet. In UM fashion they segued into "Remind Me," off 2018's It's Not Us into the crowd favorite "Higgins," into "Crucial Taunt." The crowd and the band were on fire! The night's most rotation-heavy song "In the Kitchen" was then performed, and a "metal inspired" "Remind Me." to close the set.
For the encore, they played another primarily live song, "Kula" and ended the night with another round of "In the Kitchen." Truly another joyous occasion in a beautiful setting with the ever-amazing Umphrey's McGee!
Set 1: Party'n Peeps, Educated Guess, Synchronicity II, Conduit, Mullet (Over), Example 1 and Draconian
Set 2: Domino Theory, Nothing Too Fancy, Remind Me, Higgins, Crucial Taunt, In the Kitchen, Remind Me
Encore: Kula, In the Kitchen
- by Travis Bare
- Photos by Tim Hobert