So Isaac has been hooting and hollering about how awesome Ume is live ever since he saw them open up for Cursive earlier this year on Valentines Day and when I saw that they were coming back to town, I figured I should probably go see them. They were opening up for The Life and Times a band which I was aware of only for the fact that their singer Allen Epley was the former front man of an amazing band from back on the day called Shiner (if you haven’t heard Shiner’s last two albums Starless and The Egg you are living a sad life and there is a piece of your soul missing that you never knew you had). I hadn’t really spent a whole lot of time listening to The Life and Times, because I was so obsessed with Shiner that I figured nothing could top that band, boyhowdy was I wrong!
We were late again and missed the local opener I Hear Sirens, which I was actually really bummed about. If you haven’t had a chance to check this band out you better get on it. I Hear Sirens do some instrumental post-rock that is top-notch and in my opinion is right up there with Explosions In The Sky, Red Sparowes, Mogwai, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Seriously check them out https://www.facebook.com/ihearsirens/app_2405167945
The crowd at Urban was little sparse, which was awesome for us because we were able to get a really good view of the bodaciousness that was about take place in the form of Ume. This band absolutely kills it live, lead singer and shredding guitar player Lauren Larson pretty much went crazy the whole show and her rhythm section which consisted of bass and player and husband to Laruen, Eric Larson and new drummer Rachel Fuhrer were spot on and tight. They rocked so hard that I had to go buy this awesome evil deer shirt.
(Disclaimer: This is not my chest)
Up next was The Life and Times and as mentioned above, I was not very familiar with their jams, but I expected good things from any band associated with Shiner. Plus they pretty much had to put on excellent show if they were gonna compete with Ume’s blistering set.
What proceeded next was gritty, powerful, magical, precise, original, solid, and bad ass. The Life and Times put on one of the coolest looking and best sounding shows I have ever seen. I know I have claimed other shows in the past as being awesome, but this performance was truly great.
The band played with some serious intensity and you could tell that the trio of Epley (Guitar, Vocals, Keys), Eric Abert (Bass, Keys) and Chris MetCalf (Excellent Drummer) really enjoyed and believed in the music that they were playing. Another thing that made the show so cool was the custom, yet simple lighting the band used on stage. (It tends to get a little tedious watching the same old candy colored lighting scheme that bands often get stuck with, which is always controlled by some venue dude that doesn’t know anything about the band’s music)
The Life Times instead used a set of strategically placed spot lights that were controlled by Abert via foot switch. This added a really cool vibe to the show and made it all the more memorable. I never thought that the coolness of Shiner could ever be re-created or improved upon, but it has. I have since been converted to a devote and dedicated fan of The Life and Times.
While the crowd that night may have been small, those of us who were lucky enough to have attended were rewarded with a pair of performances that I know I will never forget.