Pictures and words by Duane Clawson
It cannot be an easy task playing music in a sports town. Ume had this unenviable task on this Thursday night in St. Louis. For those that may have been living in a cave for the past couple of weeks, the St. Louis Cardinals were in the World Series playing a possible elimination game six as Ume was attempting to play some music. Lauren Larson, Ume’s front woman, did a great job of appealing to St. Louis’s love of baseball and music. Mrs. Larson was standing next to me as she told her parents that she would hold on as long as she could before she took the stage at The Firebird. Finally at 11:20pm, Lauren, Eric, and Rachel took the stage to perform for a large Thursday night crowd. This was Ume’s second appearance in St. Louis in the past three months; see LouFest. I have had the luxury of seeing Ume at the St. Louis music festival and tonight at the Firebird, but I much prefer the intimacy of the Firebird to the big stage of Loufest.
Ume is a potent mix of powerful guitar riffs and sirenesque vocals. If I were to make comparisons of Lauren’s voice, two artists would come to mind: Kim Deal of the Breeders and Melissa Auf der Maur, the former Hole bassist. When Mrs. Larson first straps on her Fender Strat, one almost laughs at the size of her instrument in comparison to her small stature; the two are almost equal. If there are any doubts that this pint-sized young lady can handle her instrument, they are soon removed as the opening notes of “The Conductor” hit the Firebird’s PA's. Attempting to get a clear image of Lauren is almost impossible due to her nonstop thrashing during almost every song. The band slows down for just a brief second during “Sunshower” only to return with the sonic thump of “Captive” from the newly released album, Phantoms. During the song “Burst”, a mini mosh pit broke out and this, to me, was a demonstration of how Ume’s music can appeal to almost anyone. Ume is a band that is best experienced live. After the show, a gentleman came up to me and asked who I was taking pictures for. I told him MTC and handed him a business card. I asked if he was related to anyone in the band. With his heart full of pride, he said “Well hell ya, I’m her daddy”. Dad, as well as the members of Ume, should be proud of their work up to this point and the success that is sure to follow. A big thank you to Tim from Shaker Maker PR for inviting me to cover the show and our friends at the Firebird. Pictures of the show are below:
Contributed by Duane Clawson
Ume @ the Firebird, St. Louis, MO Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on 4:59:00 PM Rating: