Having performed in the Capital District 11 times since 2003, Umphrey’s McGee performed their most cohesive show in the region to date, a dialed in performance at the Palace Theatre in Albany on Saturday, January 22 that brought out the heavy hitters, a few bust outs and an audience that was immensely appreciative.
If opening the show with “Cemetery Walk” didn’t set a tone for the evening, the 14+ minute “Booth Love” that followed certainly did. “Make it Right” and the relatively new “Suxity” followed, segueing nicely into a classic version of “The Floor.” From there, the piano stylings of Joel Cummins were front and center for “Salamander Strut,” a tune that has not been played this decade, let alone this century – the last performance coming in 1999, a gap of more than 2400 shows.
And if a 23 year bust-out didn’t get your attention, a rare cover over Ween’s “Even If You Don’t” followed, marking the second time the band has played it, and third overall if you count the Godboner set from Summer Camp 2015. “Anchor Drops” -> “Mulche’s Odyssey” rounded out a cohesive 66 minute set, leaving the audience cheering for more.
And more they would get. Opening up the second set with pure rock anthem “Attachments, with a high energy shredding jam to follow that segued into “Glory.” “The Crooked One” featured a tease of The Police’s “Wrapped Around Your Finger,” transitioning seamlessly into “It Doesn’t Matter,” each song clocking in at over 12 minutes a piece.
“The Silent Type” followed, with a low key tribute to Albany’s roots in “The Fussy Dutchman,” followed by a patiently built “JaJunk” which built into an all time great thumping dance session. For the encore, the companion to the opener, “Cemetery Walk II” featured guitarist Brendan Bayliss joining Cummins on keys, a rare treat that put an exclamation point on the Umphrey’s best show in nearly two decades worth of Capital Region performances.
Set 1: Cemetery Walk > Booth Love > Make It Right, Suxity > The Floor, Salamander Strut > Even If You Don’t, Anchor Drops > Mulche’s Odyssey
Set 2: Attachments > Glory > The Crooked One-> It Doesn’t Matter > The Silent Type, The Fussy Dutchman, JaJunk
Encore: Cemetery Walk II
 with Wrapped Around Your Finger (The Police) tease