Following a monstrous “All In Time” second set opener on January 18, 2014, Brendan Bayliss stepped to the mic to thank those in attendance. He noted “The first time we played (in New York City) was in the basement of the Wetlands and there were about 20 people that got to see us because we were playing outside the door of the bathroom.” As expected, the South Bend progressive jam outfit will continue a two year tradition with their return to the Beacon Theater on January 16 and 17 with special guest Joshua Redman.
In their Beacon debut the six piece took on one night, but 2014 and this year have shown that just one wouldn’t be enough. The energy that is emitted from playing a big room has only seemed to fuel the progression in where they take their music and Jefferson Waful’s elaborate production. 2013’s “Ocean Billy” and 2014’s “Puppet String” indicate that a step up in size also speaks for the music. Umphrey’s has been known for their creative mashups and covers like “Life During Exodus” and Radiohead’s “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi,” so even people unfamiliar with their material will recognize a few songs played.
Saxophonist Joshua Redman will add to the mix for both Beacon shows and the Huntington stop on Sunday. Redman has played with Umphrey’s before, the most notable being the 2013 New Years Eve run where they collaborated for a powerful “1348.” Look for something similar in energy when the seven musicians clash this time around.
Tickets for Saturday are sold out, but you can still purchase tickets for Friday at Ticketmaster. Doors for both shows are listed as eight, while the showtimes are at 9.