Umphrey’s McGee and TAUK at The Fillmore January 31st

25 January 2015
Kevin Tshiamala

A great musician once said if you don’t got it, you play rock n’ roll.

Great musicians are artists where their pen is an instrument and their canvass a chart. Whether working with a blank manuscript waiting to be illustrated or an already painted canvass waiting to be reinterpreted, great musicians are able to formulate something worthwhile.

For many years TAUK has been touring with renowned bands in the industry as well as playing major festivals. When writing about Homonculus last year for HGMN I stated, “Their ability to break the mold of a typical jamband artist by showing their understanding of music theory early in their career is a complementing sign as to the direction in which their music and career is headed.” With their recent release, Collisions, they’ve managed to continue their musical evolution as if forcefully, but gracefully colliding with varying genres, sounds making for a diverse and attractive listen. If you're curious as to whether the energy on their studio albums translates to an eclectic and entertaining live show, my friends you have to see it to believe it. Their heavy instrumental rock fusion makes you feel like vintage Dr. Gonzo dancing in a Tron world with snake charmers wearing Tommy Bahamas – no one knows what it means, it’s provocative – And luckily for you, TAUK will be hitting the best venue in Detroit, The Fillmore, opening for Umphrey’s Mcgee this Saturday, January 31st.

Some bands definitely “don’t got it” so they play rock n’ roll.

Like all broad factoids, there are many exceptions to this rule; one being the previously mentioned TAUK and the other, Umphrey’s McGee. Every time I sit down to write a preview for Umphrey’s the initial feeling is similar to that Jay-Z song, “What More Can I Say.” Then the realization comes that there’s a shit ton more to say. Although the conversation has been going on for more than a decade, I just began adding to it not too long ago. One of the best things about bands with longevity and not being a fan since the inception is witnessing their progression after the fact to the present, while they’re continuing to evolve. It’s as if you were actually able to be Marty McFly watching Marty McFly travel back in time. It presents a new perception and a different appreciation, which is all made easier by the great music they’ve been able to produce over the course of their career. Similar to Phish, Moe., Frank Zappa, and others, Umphrey’s has this Grateful Dead Syndrome -- which is inherently a Jazz Syndrome, where the composition is based on innovation without dismantling the foundation. The tension and release in their songs is immense. If you’ve ever seen them live, you’ve felt those moments where you’re not sure whether to cry or laugh, scream or dance, so you just cheese and put those hands up, pinkies out. It’s pure emotion. It’s pure rock n’ roll.

If you don’t got it, you play rock n’ roll, but if you got it, you play like Umphrey’s McGee.

Don’t miss this chance to see two great bands in one night. We’ll see you at The Fillmore on January 31st.

For more information please visit:

- Kevin Tshiamala

Umphrey's McGee and TAUK at the Fillmore


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