Review: Ume, The Sheath For The Sword In Providence

A hearty helping of rock and fury.

By Jeremy Ames - Aug 24, 2018
Photo by Jeremy Ames
Ume, who hail from Austin Texas, released their new album Other Nature on July 20th. The LP was recorded with Grammy-winning producer and engineer Stuart Sikes (who has worked with Cat Power, Loretta Lynn, Modest Mouse). They just wrapped their tour and a show coming up on October 20th. A hearty helping of rock and fury.

As the demure-looking Lauren Larson, lead singer and guitarist of Ume, snuck onstage in Providence, Rhode Island, the audience may not have known the fury she planned to unleash.

In fact, the ruse was intact after a relatively toned-down opening performance of "The Conductor" off their 2009 EP, Sunshower. They were reaching back, both in terms of song choice and in gathering up strength. Then a shift happened in the room—those in attendance watched on as Lauren transitioned into full-on rockstar mode, (which included, but as not limited to, insane guitar solos).

Taking us through the ages, Ume hit us with "Too Big World" from their 2015 EP sharing the same name. A microcosm of their performance, it started out soft and dreamy, and then jabbed into a frenzy with the line "If you're lost, if you're lost, I'm lost."

Photo by Jeremy Ames

Ironically, the next track played by the Austin natives, "Two Years Sleep", off their recently released LP, Other Nature, told a story of the band being temporarily lost—but not necessarily in a bad way. After having a baby with husband and bassist, Eric Larson, Lauren said that she wrote the song about "waking herself up again and finding her voice." This new mother rocking out to the collection of poignant, emotionally charged songs she recently penned was damned powerful.

Halfway through their set, we were stabbed by Ume's fury in "The Center". With drummer Aaron Perez slamming his kit, the curious guitar solos and full bassline had the audience at The Met jumping up and down while belting every word.

Photo by Jeremy Ames

The four-piece's energy soared for "The Barricade," possibly as a release of pent up energy from an intensive road trip. Somehow the band had just gone from Portland, Maine to Buffalo, New York and back to Rhode Island in the last few nights. Those familiar with the Northeast would recognize that as dozens of hours of driving. On the bright side, Lauren fondly recalled biting into the lobster roll in Maine, as well as a two-foot long omelet in Syracuse.

Speaking of coming a long way, they also discussed one of their most biggest moments as a band—when they were featured on Anthony Bourdain's acclaimed television show, No Reservations. When asked if his recent passing had an emotional impact on her, Lauren said it absolutely did. "He believed in us and that led to a lot of exposure," she said with a touch of sadness in her eyes.

Following other cuts from the new LP such as "After the Show," the band wrapped with the crowd favorite, "Chase It Down". Showcasing Lauren's impassioned vocals, the song was the perfect way to close a near-perfect set.

Next up was the headliner, The Sword, who Lauren referred to as "nice guys that bring it every night." That they did, as the heavy metal band (also from Austin) performed a polished set filled with songs from their recent album, Used Future. When all was sung and done, fans were treated to a night of rock and fury—just what the doctor ordered.

Photo by Jeremy Ames
Photo by Jeremy Ames
Photo by Jeremy Ames
Photo by Jeremy Ames
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Jeremy Ames

Jeremy is CEO of Hive Tech HR and founder of Ear4Talent. He's also a contributing writer for TechTarget and other professional mediums on the future of work. He's author of The ETA Exchange, a frequent guest on podcasts and quoted in publications like The Washington Post. Jeremy's music journalism pairs a lifelong passion for music and ear for talent with his writing. His goal with Bandsintown is to form interesting angles and enlighten readers to music a few stanzas outside the mainstream.

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