Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Umphrey's McGee Lays Down Heavy Grooves in Cleveland

Concert Review

Posted By on Thu, Jan 28, 2016 at 11:44 AM

click to enlarge dsc_0017.jpg
Guy turns to me midway through the first set at last night's Umphrey's McGee show in Cleveland, and he says, "Even if you don't know shit, anyone is gonna have a good time at a show like this." 

He was right.

Of course, I know some shit about some shit, and I know that Umphrey's McGee throws down heaters across the country like it ain't no thang, night in and night out. This band is tight — 18 years in on a stellar career arc — and they twist up unique setlists that somehow fit whatever mood the evening calls for. Last night in downtown Cleveland? Warm funk grooves to counter the wind chill factor outside, naturally.

The first set was a well rounded affair, and the audience ate up every note. I was particularly tuned into bassist Ryan Stasik's work throughout the show, notably the handful of times when he simply dropped into some filter effect on his bass and let a note just riiiiide beneath the other guys' multifaceted leads. 

In the middle of the set, old-school jaunt-rocker Resolution was followed up by the newer ballad Upward, which turned out to be a really great pairing. At that point, sax man and frequent sit-in guest Joshua Redman joined the band onstage for Educated Guess, Glory > Wife Soup. 

With Redman working his magic on a number of tunes in both sets, the whole show took on a much swankier feel (see Professor Wormbog's laid-back atmospheric grooves, for instance). 

click to enlarge dsc_0012.jpg
The second set ripped through a number of really excellent Umphrey's staples — Mulches, Ringo, Nothing Too Fancy, etc. — leading to an all-in encore of The Beatles' I Want You (She's So Heavy), which happened to land in the encore slot at the 2010 Cleveland show as well. A nice throwback, and a wonderful evening for all who happened to stop by.


Dump City
Linear >
Mad Love
Resolution >
Educated Guess*
Glory* >
Wife Soup*

Mulches Odyssey 
Professor Wormbog*
Dear Lord >
OG Cut the Cable >
Nothing Too Fancy

Encore: She's So Heavy

* featuring Joshua Redman on sax

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

October 21, 2020

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2020 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation