On Friday, Umphrey’s McGee continued their Wax On, Wax Off Tour with a stop at Stage AE in Pittsburgh, PA.
Umphrey’s McGee came out to open their first set with “Drink My Drank”, last played on June 16th, 2017, a gap of 156 shows. With Joel Cummins laying down some spacey synth work, Kris Myers and Andy Farag locked into a hard-hitting pocket, setting a raucous tone for the Friday night rock show. The sextet smoothy segued out of the instrumental “Drink My Drank” into “Plunger”, allowing Brendan Bayliss to take his first vocal lead of the night. With Ryan Stasik holding it down on the low end, Bayliss and Jake Cinninger tore off into deep exploratory ground, trading off gritty guitar solos. Umphrey’s moved forward with “Words”, off of 2007’s The Bottom Half. The Bayliss-led “Words” got its first play of 2019 last night, and the six-piece did it justice. Umphrey’s continued with “Remind Me” and “Higgins” before bringing the first set to a close with “Partyin’ Peeps”.
Following a brief setbreak, BIG Something saxophonist Casey Cranford joined Umphrey’s McGee as they reemerged to the stage, opening their second set with a cover of The Rolling Stones‘ “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”. Played for only the sixth time since 2015, Cranford added the perfect touch on the favorite tune off of the Stone’s 1971 Sticky Fingers album. Moving back into their six-piece configuration, the band moved forward with “Forks” and “Puppet String” before delivering an improv-heavy pairing of “Night Nurse” into “Rocktopus”. Bayliss stepped up to take the lead on “Example 1”, which was followed up by a rockin’ set-closing take on “JaJunk”. “The Floor” served as the evening’s lone encore.
Umphrey’s McGee – “Rocktopus”
[Video: Vlad Reznik]
Umphrey’s McGee continues their tour tonight, Saturday, March 23rd, with a stop at Cleveland, OH’s Masonic Auditorium. For ticketing information and a full list of the band’s upcoming tour dates, head to Umphrey’s website.
Setlist: Umphrey’s McGee | Stage AE | Pittsburgh, PA | 3/22/2019
Set One: Drink My Drank > Plunger, Words, Remind Me, Higgins, Partyin’ Peeps
Set Two: Can’t You Hear Me Knocking*, Forks, Puppet String, Night Nurse > Rocktopus, Example 1, JaJunk
Encore: The Floor
* w/ Casey Cranford