Umphrey’s McGee and Ray’s Music Exchange at the Odeon

Wednesday evening was the an­nu­al com­pa­ny ‘event.’ Since no one re­al­ly knows if it is a Christmas din­ner or a fall par­ty or what, it is just known as the ‘event.’ It was at the Crawford Auto Museum, so I pret­ty much on­ly went to see the an­tique cars. I saw an elec­tric car from 1906 and a mag­net­ic car from 1912. Had a cou­ple of vod­ka mar­ti­nis and played about ten min­utes worth of black­jack be­fore leav­ing. It was al­right.

Last evening I saw Ray’s Music Exchange [out of Cincinnati, got an­oth­er free stick­er!] and Umphrey’s McGee, a band that formed at Notre Dame. I se­ri­ous­ly don’t know what WBWC is go­ing to do with all of its free con­cert tick­ets once Liam moves to NYC.

In any case, both bands are jam bands, which isn’t my thing. Jerrytown was in full ef­fect, flowy dress­es, bare feet [in down­town Cleveland, when it is about 30 de­grees out!], shagged beards, dreds and caps to keep the dreds in. I re­al­ized retroac­tive­ly that I own a shape­less hat that would have fit in just fine. I was tempt­ed to take a poll and see how many folks had wal­lets made from duct tape, but did not do so.

Ray’s Music Exchange was tech­ni­cal­ly pro­fi­cient but lacked the vir­tu­os­i­ty and fun that Umphrey’s McGee brought to the stage. It seemed like they were re­al­ly con­cen­trat­ing on play­ing more than en­ter­tain­ing. Umphrey’s was much bet­ter on the en­ter­tain­ment scale. Their songs ac­tu­al­ly had words every once in awhile and Phil Lesh, the gui­tarist, can re­al­ly wail. Eventually Ray’s Music Exchange joined Umphrey’s on stage and the last song be­fore they took a break ac­tu­al­ly got me in­to the show. Adding ex­tra gui­tars and keys made it sound more sol­id to me.

We left once they took a break, our eyes were burn­ing from all the cig­a­rette smoke. On our way back to the car we passed a booty-bounc­ing dance club and a cou­ple of girls who were ob­vi­ous­ly go­ing there were at­tempt­ing to par­al­lel park and fail­ing mis­er­ably time and again. One of the hoes [and I say this un­abashed­ly for rea­sons that will be­come, erm, vis­i­ble in a mo­ment] was out of the car and try­ing to give di­rec­tions to the girl who was try­ing to not suck at park­ing and fail­ing at not suck­ing. This girl was wear­ing just about noth­ing, in 30+ de­gree weath­er. In fact, as we passed her and got our schaden­freude on, the light cot­ton ‘skirt’ she was wear­ing, which ap­peared to be meant for some­one sev­er­al sizes less anorex­ic, fell down past her ass, re­veal­ing her thong, which, as we all know, means re­veal­ing her whole sort-of-sag­gy back­side. Liam missed it, but his wife Anne and I were both un­for­tu­nate­ly ex­posed. She [she be­ing not Anne] non­cha­lant­ly pulled ‘em up again, as if she is used to that hap­pen­ing. Considering to wrung look of the ‘skirt’ it is quite pos­si­ble that it has been through one too many nights ground up against some face­less dude.

In any case, we got in­to our car and mar­velled as the girls at­tempt­ed to par­al­lel park one more time. As we passed them they no­ticed us laugh­ing at them and Liam honked in de­ri­sion. He then not­ed that it wasn’t the quick ‘beep-beep’ of a ‘you’re hot’ na­ture but more of the ‘honk honnk honnnk’ that is meant to draw people’s at­ten­tion. Then we went to our re­spec­tive homes.