Sometimes getting back to ones roots is a great way to feel re-connected and rejuvenated with the music we love, that which is current in our lives and that which is no more. This past weekend I did a two-night run with Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9) and Umphrey’s McGee- two bands that got me started down the path I currently walk today. I love STS9 and always have because they just have that way to get raw and weird with it. On the other hand, Umphrey’s is not my favorite band. They used to be my jam but as years have passed, my interests dwindled to other things. I’ve lost touch with them as a band, but I went into it with a very open mind, wholeheartedly ready to feel what all my UMPHfreak friends go nuts for.
The Louisville Palace, a gem of a venue housed in what used to be an old Broadway theatre, was our destination for the evening and it was beautiful. The inside had vaulting ceilings adorned with carved faces of historical figures. Gold and red paint covered the walls and large staircases took patrons to the upper levels. The traditional theatre even had orchestral seating and a balcony with the ceiling boasting an imitation nighttime sky. Unfortunately, the security was pretty uptight at this show, considering the venue was probably half-full. Ticketholders absolutely had to stay in their exact designated seat.
Umphrey’s opened their tour with an intense “Push The Pig” > “1348”. Their lighting was on point the whole night and the sound was phenomenal. The set’s highlight was the “Triple Wide” they seamlessly blended back into 1348 to end the show. STS9 started on time after setting up their intense lighting arrangement known as The Pyramid by avid fans. They opened with an awesome “Ramone & Emiglio” > “Moonsocket” and kept the heat coming all night long. My favorite moment of this night was the encore when Jake Cinninger came out and sat in for an instrumental version of “Sympathy For The Devil”, after which Tribe killed it with “When The Dust Settles”.
When we awoke the next morning it was time to get the show on the road as we headed back to Indy for our hometown throw down.
I couldn’t have been more excited to reconnect with these bands in the very venue that I first experienced them in years ago. We arrived to STS9 just in time to hear some of my favorite classic Tribe songs. As we got beers and walked to our meeting point, they busted into “Equinox” >” EHM” > “Inspire Strikes Back”, all back-to-back heavy hitters that just make you wanna dance your ass off. Their set felt a lot longer than it was, ending things with “Hidden Hand, Hidden Fist” and “20-12”.
As quickly as STS9 were off, Umphrey’s was setting up against a beautifully backlit Indianapolis skyline. This venue always brings a smile to my face. It’s simple, it’s sweet, they don’t hassle you too much and you literally see every person you know in Indianapolis when you come to a show at WRSP. Umphrey’s closed their set with Dave Murphy sitting in on “Another Brick In The Wall”- the perfect way to end an amazing two-night run.