Words & Photos By Francesco Marano
On Thursday, January 21, 2016, progressive rock jamband Umphrey’s McGee kicked off the first night of their 3-run residency at the famed Beacon Theatre in New York City. This night would prove to be a special one because it was the 18th anniversary of their first concert, which was in South Bend Indiana. Selected to open all three shows were up-and-comers TAUK.
Hitting the stage at approximately 8PM, TAUK got the night started off with a heavy dose of instrumental songs that incorporated elements of rock, jazz, funk, and electronic. Fans who got inside the venue early enough to catch their brief, but powerful set, were undoubtedly pleased as many were getting their groove on.
Umphrey’s McGee took to the stage at just after 9PM, and the energy level inside couldn’t have been any higher. From the opening notes of “Goonville” to the first set closer of “Rocker Part 2,” the band maintained a high level of intensity while playing. An impressive light show served to heighten the concert experience, and was perfectly synced to the songs, whether it be dance-driven beats or metal-inspired guitar riffs.
UM hand signs and a big roar from the crowd erupted when McGee opened their second set with “All In Time,” a longstanding staple in the band’s setlist. For the following song, “Booth Love,” the band incorporated a snippet of Glenn Frey’s “You Belong To The City,” in honor of the former Eagles member, who had passed a few days earlier. For the duration of the set, it was all smiles and positive vibes as the crowd fed off the band’s energy.
In what ended up being a highlight of the night for many fans, Umphrey’s chose to encore with a 2 song tribute to the also recently passed David Bowie with “Space Oddity” that flawlessly seemed into “Fame.” The selection took many by surprise, and was a great way to end their first of three nights.
Umphrey’s McGee Setlist [via]01.21.2016 BEACON THEATRE, NEW YORK, NY, USA Set 1: Goonville > Plunger > 40’s Theme, In The Black, Roulette > Kimble, Attachments, Rocker Part 2Set 2: All In Time, Booth Love, Bridgeless > Remind Me, Tribute to the Spinal Shaft > BridgelessEncore: Space Oddity > Fame with You Belong to the City (Glenn Frey) jam and quotes  with Xxplosive (Dr. Dre) teases  debut, David Bowie Notes: Jake teased YYZ (Rush) before Booth Love