PORT CHESTER, NY- Last Wednesday, road warriors Umphrey’s McGee opened their fall tour at the recently reopened and refurbished Capitol Theater in Port Chester, NY. The Legendary Westchester County NY venue is a short train or car ride from New York City, with unusually easy access for anybody in the northern suburbs- it couldn’t be in a better spot. Location, venue history, and one of newest and highest caliber light rigs in the land made for a highly anticipated event. Umphrey’s McGee and Jeff Waful’s lighting expertise made the small theater seem like MSG, or exactly as owner and visionary Pete Shapiro wanted it to look- “a psychedelic rock palace” (NY Times).
A missing element was the typical small venue, pre-show parking lot scene ….. which is probably a positive thing for the theater in all honesty -a raging parking lot party on a Wednesday evening may not go over very well with the locals or authorities. Being a weekday, and according to several fans- a ton of people were on the train up from the city, and inside just may have been the only place to go other than a few pretty fancy, Spanish style restaurants. On the contrary, Conspirator opened the evening, drawing a hefty crowd in the NE as headliners or openers.
Most reactions I heard during set-break were in response to Pete Shapiro’s overhaul of the theater, and the intense lighting, and not so focused on the band or music- it was universally understood that Umphrey’s was slaying it. One thing that was odd to hear was that the lighting was a bit much for some. I found 360 degrees of visual stimulus to be a perfect and well executed pairing of venue and band. There are few things cooler than straight rock & roll with projections of 15 foot eyeballs, and 4o foot sexy lady legs dancing on the walls. Be sure to check the gallery below, as the eye candy was aplenty, and it wasn’t just in the crowd. Of particular note, they announced a date at The Beacon, which is a step up on the ladder of NYC venues, and a testament to the hard work they have been doing in the northeast in the past several years.
Setlist via allthings.umphreys.com
10.17.2012 Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY, USA
Set 1: Rocker Part 2, Words, Room to Breathe > Sociable Jimmy > Go to Hell, Visions -> Room to Breathe, Bright Lights, Big City
Set 2: Mulche’s Odyssey, Dump City > It’s About That Time -> Dump City, 2×2 > Glory > 2×2 > Theresa > 2×2, I Am the Walrus > Nothing Too Fancy > Willie The Pimp > Nothing Too Fancy
 with Rhiannon (Fleetwood Mac) teases
 with The Pequod tease
Purchase via UMLive: 10.17.2012, Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY
CBS did a short on The Capitol Theater and it’s rich Rock & Roll history that does way more justice to the whole affair than we ever could….