Umphrey's McGee Cincinnati's Taft Theater

Umphrey’s McGee Cincinnati’s Taft Theater
Jan 19- Umphrey’s McGee arrived in Cincinnati fresh off Jam Cruise 2019 in the Caribbean. Umphrey’s was rested up for this 2-night run at the Taft Theater with opening band Big Something who is also fresh out of the Caribbean, just returning from Moe’s.Tropical Throe.down in Jamaica.

Night one Umphrey's brought the heat to the Taft. Following a blistering BIG Something opener, Umphrey's threw down with "In the Kitchen" to start things off, hearing "Triple Wide" with a Zeppelin tease soon after. Umphrey's McGee never disappoints any time they take the stage in any theater, festival, amphitheater, or cruise ship.

Umphrey's are veteran performers with more than 2000+ shows in 22 years under there belts. They have mastered their music, their sound, and most certainly their light show. There performances are hard pounding rock jam, eclectic improvisational jam, and perfection of classic covers.

The popular and rarely played "Women, Wine, and Song", had only been played 3 times in the past year. This was a good one, it combined all the things great about Umphrey's shows; power of the music, synchronicity of the light show, and a great jam. Umphrey's bookended the first set of this night with "In the Kitchen". But the night had just begun

Opening the second set with "Attachments" from Umphrey's 2018 release "It's You" was a great start for this set. The pace continued with the classic "The Fussy Dutchman" soon followed by a YYZ (Rush) teases before "Phil's Farm" with Can't You Hear Me Knocking Rolling Stones tease, sandwich.

No show if final, most of the time, without a Umphrey's twist on a classic cover. Tonight, brought David Bowie's "Let's Dance" with Nick Blasky on percussion, as Umphrey's encore.

Set 1: 

  • In The Kitchen > 
  • Seasons, 
  • Speak Up > 
  • Passing, 
  • The Triple Wide,
  • You & You Alone, 
  • Women Wine and Song > 
  • The Stranger > 
  • In The Kitchen

Set 2: 

  • Attachments -> 
  • The Fussy Dutchman, 
  • Cut the Cable, 
  • Phil's Farm -> 
  • The Floor, Whistle Kids > 
  • Phil's Farm
  • Encore: Let's Dance

Umphrey's came back to The Taft Theater for another night with Big Something. The theater was full with an almost sold out crowd. The city was preparing for a very cold winter storm, but this did not discourage the fans from everywhere.

Starting this set off hard with "Conduit" with Crazy Train (Ozzy Osbourne) teases, a song people love. Moving in more from their 2018 release "Triangle Tear". The always popular Pink Floyd Cover "Shine on you crazy diamond" came next with Casey Cranford from Big Something on the EWI, this was a heater. Set two keep things on pace for a huge finish. "Miami Virtue" with Rhiannon (Fleetwood Mac) teases showed Jake Cinninger on keys to change things up a bit. The "Plunger" sandwich was off the hook, it was pure rock jam in the finest. Closing out the night with the encore of "Front Porch" with Lose Yourself (Eminem) and Game of Thrones theme (Djawadi) teases, was the perfect way to close the show, hammering the sound, immersive lights, and the Umphrey's teases.

Set 1: 

  • Conduit, 
  • Triangle Tear > 
  • Nothing Too Fancy -> 
  • In The Black, Draconian, 
  • Shine On You Crazy Diamond > 
  • Nothing Too Fancy

Set 2: 

  • The Silent Type > 
  • Wife Soup, 
  • Wizard Burial Ground, 
  • Miami Virtue, 
  • Upward, Plunger > 
  • Don't You (Forget About Me) > 
  • Plunger
  • Encore: Front Porch

- words & photos by Neil Peek