Back to Back Saturday Shows!

I’ve been a bit delinquent with the blog as of late, things have been a little crazy. We do have shows to report on though!

Two Saturdays ago, I made the journey to Boston to check out Umphrey’s McGee at the old Harborlights.  Ryan was kind enough to pick up the tickets when they went onsale, so we had fantastic seats maybe about 20 rows back on the right.  Ryan had an extra so as an extra special treat, the show turned into a combo birthday/Christmas present for #1 nephew John too! His birthday was back in January and we talked about a hockey trip to Boston or NYC but never did it. So, here is a show and book the Westin Waterfront via hotwire and bang you got a combo present!

Sound Tribe Sector Nine did not do it for me. It was a split headline show really with each band getting 90 minutes of stage time. They are a live band that does what I call club music. Not my thing, some of the grooves and beats were good but kind of repetitive.  We hung out in the back and checked out the freak show. Hippies dancing to club music can be very entertaining.  Plus, who else doesn’t enjoy a $10 24 ouce draft of Harpoon, ouch!

The Umph set was hot! I had not seen them since Mountain Jam last year, so that would have been end of May start of June of 07.  After seeing them at Mountain Jam and this show, I think the one set, shorter set situation fits them very well. No lulls, they came out hot and kept the pedal down throughout the set. The set even inspired alot of dancing out of your blogger.  The crazy covers for this set was a verse from Don’t Fear the Reaper then a full version of Genesis’ Abacab. Jake Cinninger on guitar was incredible all night long. It was a perfect evening weather wise and the music matched it! Kudos to Ryan, he called that we would get a “In the Kitchen” in the set and we did!

This past Saturday, I was very excited to see the Avett Brothers again in Northampton! They were making the venue jump from the Iron Horse to Pearl Street. For the non-locals, Iron Horse is the size of an expanded coffee house and Pearl Street is more of your standard night club size room.  They filled the Iron Horse both times I saw them but Pearl Street is quite a bit bigger and a totally different feel, especially for an acoustic bluegrass trio.

After a preshow burrito at Bueno Y Sano and a few Smithwick’s at preferred bar venue, Packard’s, it was onto Pearl Street on a beautiful summer evening in the Happy Valley.  They drew a great crowd, it was very full, not quite to capacity but close. I walked over at the perfect time, as I was ordering my drink at the bar, the band walked out! The last time they played, they had a cellist sit in with them for a few tunes and he was with them for this show, he played on just about every tune this night.

They killed it as always! The show was focused mostly on their last cd, Emotionalism and some new tunes off a cd they said would be released in August. Big plug here for the two cd’s of theirs that I own, Emotionalism and Live Volume 2, both great discs. The energy, performance and passion were all there through out their 1:45 set.  They have added to their mix of bluegrass, pop and their punk energy with a drum set, which each brother taking a turn behind the skins. Bob Crawford on bass also played electric bass on a couple of tunes.  Overall, just a great, great night of music. Ryan doesn’t understand why Umphrey’s McGee isn’t the biggest band in the world and I have to say I think the Avett Brothers would be my pick for that label. They have the talent, the songs, the live show, its a great thing to see!

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