Kick Out the McJams

A review of Umphrey's McGee.

I showed up at Stubb’s Saturday night at 7:45 for Outformation's 8pm start and they were already well into their blast of Southern boogie. This is how you know they're road dogs. Led by former Widespread Panic guitar tech Sam Holt, the quintet played for 30 minutes without taking their first break, winding through some loud, hard Americana. Comparisons to Panic are not unjustified, but Outformation took a more blue-collar approach. Lighter on the space jams and further into the blues a la fellow Georgians the Allman Brothers, they closed with a revved up take on the Marshall Tucker Band’s instrumental “Long Hard Ride,” which illustrated the point perfectly.

Though they could be described as a "jam band," headliner Umphrey’s McGee comes from a different direction than those emulating the Grateful Dead. This was obvious from a couple of speed metal/prog rock guitar excursions, especially second set (yes, there were two) opener, “Wizard Burial Ground,” on which guitarist Jake Cinninger set his guitar on stun. While they occasionally drifted into the realm of noodling, the Chicago sextet also mixed in techno beats, Steely Dan soul, and reggae, proving they're capable of almost any style, but two lengthy sets may have been a bit much for unfamiliar ears.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Umphrey's McGee
ACL Live Shot: Umphrey's McGee
Umphrey's McGee
Zilker Park, Oct. 12

Jim Caligiuri, Oct. 19, 2012

More by Jim Caligiuri
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Carrie Elkin’s Life-and-Death Folk
Her father's death and daughter's birth upped the stakes of the singer's finest work

April 14, 2017

SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
SXSW Music Live: Richard Barone Presents Greenwich Village in the Sixties
Soft Boys, Youngbloods, Moby Grape, Brian Jones’ grandson, etc.

March 18, 2017


Umphrey's McGee

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle