By Jason Turngren
Usually the concerts held at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium are more on the tranquil side of the live music spectrum. The Umphrey’s crowd, on the other hand, isn’t as relaxed as the Ryman staff may be accustomed to. With that being said, it is quite astonishing to see a sold out rock show tear up the Ryman. Having the seating arrangements located in church pews, there isn’t really any room to stand up and dance, but that doesn’t slow down Umprhey’s fans. Naturally, the benefit of assigned seating is that you can grab as many beers as you want without having to fight through the crowd to get back to where you want to be. The best part of this venue, other than the amazing acoustics, is that there really isn’t a bad seat in the house.
This being Umphrey’s second time at the Ryman, and first time they sold the venue out, we knew it would be a special evening. Seeing as how the band played Anchor Drops in its entirety the night before, none of us really knew what to expect. Excluding all those tracks, it gave the opportunity for the boys to perform a great deal of tracks from Safety In Numbers. This seemed appropriate for a venue like the Ryman.
Having had front row seats, it was incredible to turn around when the lights dimmed and watch the crowd erupt with excitement. The band took to the stage, and the show took off. The strength of the first set wouldn’t have been complete without their cover of The Beatles’ “I Want You (She’s So Heavy).” After the opening verse, the band went silent, and the crowd blew up. The acoustics don’t only compliment the artists, they also magnify the crowds energy quite nicely.
After a short set break, the guys came back out with a stellar second set. From “Believe The Lie” all the way to “Nothing Too Fancy,” there was only one break in the music. That break came after a quite impressive cover of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir.” The “Milestones” tease complimented “Intentions Clear,” and the “Stranglehold” jam in “Nothing Too Fancy” was truly quite fancy. They then closed out the show with an amazing “Jimmy Stewart” infused “All In Time.”
We all know the high pressure decision to either go for a fist bump or the classic high five. Well, in this case, I got both a fist bump and a high five from Brendan Bayliss as the guys left the stage. As we were leaving the venue, everyone was chatting about their favorite song selections of the night and what shows they were going to next. The masses were truly riding that post-show high that only comes at an Umphrey’s show.
Set 1: Catshot > Mullet (Over), Educated Guess, Puppet String, Alex’s House > Snake Juice > I Want You (She’s So Heavy), Eat, Rocker, Rocker Part 2
Set 2: Believe the Lie, Booth Love > Nothing Too Fancy > Women Wine and Song > Den > Kashmir, Intentions Clear > Glory > Nothing Too Fancy
Encore: All In Time
 with Milestones (Miles Davis) teases
 with Simple Gifts (trad.) teases in intro
 with Stranglehold (Ted Nugent) jam
 “Jimmy Stewart” with lyrics