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Umphrey's McGee at Jannus Live

Jannus Live: a breath of fresh air from your typical music venue

“We want the Umph, gotta have that Umph!”

The crowd chanted as the set crew scrambled around the main stage piecing together audio equipment and tuning the multiple guitars and microphones adorning the stage at Jannus Live, in downtown St. Petersburg.

Umphrey’s McGee, a six person funk and jam band was making their first appearance in St. Petersburg. Umphrey’s consists of two guitarists, a keyboard, percussions, drums and a bass. Most of the members contribute to the vocals and the group has been together for over 13 years.

The vibes at Jannus Live were infectious and everyone there seemed to be beaming from ear to ear. The crowd was immensely excited for his or her favorite band to be finally performing within a day’s drive from the Tampa Bay and their anticipation was evident.

Jannus Live is a hidden gem. A relatively smaller venue with a stellar résumé of performing artists, it hosts an even more unique viewing experience as the stage and the pit are predominantly outside.

The electronic duo, Break Science opened for Umphrey’s McGee during their Florida run. Break Science is a Brooklyn based group consisting of a drummer, Adam Deitch along with a keyboard and laptop controlled by Borahm Lee. Both groups were nothing short of impressed with the venue.

At the end of their set Umphrey’s McGee even stated on stage that they would most definitely be back to St. Petersburg soon. How cool is that?

These guys have performed at Red Rocks Ampitheatre in Colorado, they have headlined at Bear Creek Music Festival and a host of other large festivals, and yet St. Pete still charmed them.

I felt so flattered to be a local and the show was absolutely incredible. The band has such a high energy and the members are so genuinely talented that I dubbed it as one of the best concerts I have ever seen at Jannus Live. Ryan Stasik, Bass Guitarist of Umphrey’s McGee, took the time to step off stage at the end of the show and took pictures with some of the fans! I was lucky enough to have had a friend spot him out in the crowd and I was able to get the chance to meet him and compliment his performance. It was truly a magical night!

If you missed the Umphrey’s show at Jannus, the rest of the summer has your back. Jannus Live is hosting an incredible lineup of artists within the next few months.

I sincerely recommend you check out The Wailers on Thursday, April 25, Sound Tribe Sector 9 on Saturday, April 27 and Slightly Stoopid on Friday, May 3.

But, if finals have you locked down this weekend too, check out Jannus Live’s upcoming events for next week and the rest of Summer.

Know a great show? Help support live music and tell your friends about it by posting a comment below!

Galactic Brings the Funk to St. Petersburg’s State Theatre

Downtown St. Petersburg has always been known for its fashion-forward art district, eventful nightlife, and most fortunately for me, a fantastic live music scene.

A couple Fridays ago was no exception, as I made sure to stop at Daddy Kool Records to pick up two hardcopy tickets to see Galactic live at St. Petersburg’s State Theatre.

Get your concert tickets… The right way.

I try to buy my tickets downtown before the show because they are typically cheaper than purchasing them online. There is nothing convenient about paying a $15.00 convenience fee. I actually prefer to buy hardcopy tickets if they are offered because I keep all of the stubs and add them to a shadowbox where I display all of my live music adventures.

Galactic? Sounds Big.

Galactic

Galactic | Photo: C. Barnes ’13

Galactic is a New Orleans based jazz and funk band consisting of a guitar, a bass, a keyboard, a saxophone, a harmonica and a drum set. I had seen them perform live at Bear Creek Music Festival before and assured my friends that they wouldn’t be disappointed; I mean, doesn’t their name say it all? The line to enter and purchase tickets was half-a-block long when we arrived around 9:30p.m. Happy to have my tickets in hand we entered the theatre with ease and promptly made our way to the upstairs balcony. After waiting impatiently for what seemed like forever, the lights dimmed down, the audience grew quiet and the show had finally begun!

For the rest of the evening the State Theatre temporarily morphed into Bourbon Street’s Mardi Gras celebration as the infectious musical styling’s of Galactic brought what seemed like the entire venue to their feet.

Fans old and new were letting loose in proper TGIF spirit while dancing and bouncing around, childish grins of excitement radiated from their faces.

There is something delightful about the way the band plays together live.

The group was created in 1994 as Galactic Prophylactic. Originally an octet, the six musicians and even the guest performers seemed to vibe off one another as if they had been playing together their entire lives.

Galactic first-timer and acclaimed new fan, Jordan Schleimer chuckled as he stated that their performance was, “Out of this world!”

St. Petersburg’s Stellar State Theatre

My favorite moment of the show was when they performed a personalized cover of “I am the Walrus” by The Beatles. There are very few bands I would enjoy seeing more than getting a chance to see The Beatles in concert so anytime I get to see a live rendition I am thrilled.

The State Theatre is a unique and intimate place to watch bands perform. There is truly no bad seat in the house and one would be surprised to see the number major label artists that have performed and continue to perform at St. Petersburg‘s State Theatre. If funk, hip-hop, jam and jazz is not your style, you can rest assured downtown St. Petersburg has a dive bar or theatre with live music equipped to meet your all of your aural desires.

Locals should take advantage of this year’s impressive list of talent. Use the New Year to make a resolution to go see live music! Support your favorite artists and get to know your thriving community!

Check out Song Kick’s list of upcoming shows in St. Petersburg, or share what you know and post a comment below.