Day two of March Madness met St. Patrick’s day in Las Vegas as The Sin City was firing on all cylinders. Thousands of people from all corners of the earth filled the boardwalks and casinos while the green beer was flowing on every block. Through it all, a dedicated fanbase journeyed from the Midwest and beyond for a rawk show, parting the green seas of people as they made their way to the Brooklyn Bowl on Friday night.
The lights dimmed shortly after 8 pm as supporting act Spafford took the stage. The quartet, originating from Arizona, brought a large following as a result of the short distance through the desert. With a cover featuring Kris Myers on vocals and some jamtastic classics, the eclectic modern jam band had the crowd completely warmed up for Umphrey’s McGee. UM opened up with a "Flamethrower that went right into "Puppet String" and a seldom played "Rocktopus." Jefferson Waful completely took over the venue, emitting light that canvased every square inch with a plethora of colors. The first set ended with a "Got Your Milk (Right Here)" into a "Der Bluten Kat," “Jimmy Stewart (or jam sequence)" that continued on for almost 24 minutes.
The second set was over an hour of almost continuous music as Umphrey's only took a break after the midway point. Probably missing what at this time last year was umBowl, the band continued with the heavy improv theme from the first set and played extended versions of "The Floor," "Speak Up" and "Kabump." Bruce Springsteen’s "I’m On Fire" made an appearance as well as two Miles Davis covers, "In a Silent Way"-- played for just the fourth time in ten years -- and "It’s About That Time." which wrapped up the second set. Umphrey's returned to the stage for an encore that began with a "Glory" into a fourth and final cover of Modest Mouse’s "The Good Time’s are Killing Me." The band then officially closed with a "Mad Love," a feeling felt by all in attendance as the band thanked the booming crowd.
Umphrey’s McGee has wrapped up their west coast tour and will return to the Midwest at the end of the month before picking up their tour down South in April. Be sure to catch them at a venue near you, or watch out for their live stream couch tours courtesy of TourGigs.