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Umphrey’s McGee // Live @ The Fillmore // 1.11.2024

Photos and review by: Jason Robey

CHARLOTTE, NC — Transcendent jams and powerhouse rhythms filled the Charlotte Fillmore as Umphrey’s McGee kicked off their tour on Thursday. The concert marked the first full show for drummer Kris Myers since July, following rotator cuff surgery. The packed house cheered him on as he triumphantly took the stage. 

The opening riff of “Jajunk” sparked a blazing hot first set, followed by the complex rhythm of “Fenced In.” Guitarist / vocalist Brendan Bayliss led the crowd in welcoming Myers back to the stage by announcing they’d be playing some songs they haven’t played in his absence, leading into the tribal beat of “Similar Skin.”  Seamlessly transitioning into “Resolution” and then to “The Bottom Half,” the band played more a half an hour without a stop. Wrapping up the first set with “Dump City,” the hour and ten minutes they’d already given was only the beginning of what they had in store for the Queen City crowd. 

The band returned with a scorching rendition of “Mantis” that ran nearly 25 minutes with inspired musical explorations and a mesmerizing light show, taking the jam into “2nd Self.” Throughout the evening, the band showed their uncanny ability to collectively change key and time signatures, along with tempo, without missing a beat. Musically inclined fans closer to the stage can see the members communicating with one another for changes, with impressive precision. There were several perfect examples in the extended rendition of “Miami Virtue,” before transitioning to the shortest, most concise song of the evening, “Women, Wine, and Song.”

A fifteen-minute, improvisation-heavy “Draconian” leading into an equal-length “Wife Soup” made for a spellbinding homestretch for the show, before the band took the ceremonial leave from the stage before the encore. They returned for a final song of “Make It Right,” with succinct and structured riffs between melodic verses, a few last improv jams before the show ended. The Charlotte crowd got real heater of a concert to start 2024, check their tour dates and catch them all over the U.S. and other parts of the world.

Jason Robey
Jason has a deep relationship with music, as a performing musician, avid concert-goer and professional audio engineer. He has a passion for the local Phoenix music scene, as well as indie music from all over. He also enjoys writing, photography and anything that can make him laugh. Instagram: yitbos69 Twitter

2 thoughts on “Umphrey’s McGee // Live @ The Fillmore // 1.11.2024

  1. This article literally gave me the chills, in the best of ways, powerful writing! This article probably just made my day, which has been going all good. I was wondering just the other day when I was watching one of the new years webcasts when it sounded like a The Bottom Half note was coming, if they had played it at all without Meyer’s being there. Thank you for the verification on that one, and for pointing out the other songs they’ve reserved for him as well.

  2. I am a gossip girl who loves entertainment, movies, news, celebrity patch-ups, and breakups. It’s been a long time since I attended a jam. Amazingly, someone can play for 25 minutes. Not my forte. I would like to see Coachella now.

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