*Don’t forget to check out the gallery of live photos below the article.
On the first of April I had the good fortune of seeing Ume play at Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco. When I found out I would be covering this show I had never heard their music and went straight to Spotify to give them a listen. After listening to their newest release Monuments, I found myself really excited about the show. Their impressive riffs, well written songs, catchy vocals and mix of tempos are all qualities I enjoy in a band. I was also scheduled to do a short portrait session wit the band beforehand, which is always exciting as a photographer. After watching the bands sound check I was able to get a short session in with them and you can view a few of those photos below. They were extremely nice and seemed happy to make time, despite already being behind schedule. For that, I am very thankful.
To open the show Ume played “Conductor” off the older Sunshower EP. It was a good choice, kicking the show off with a high energy track that the crowd seemed excited to hear. One of things that was immediately evident, was vocalist/guitarist Lauren Larson is an absolute ball of fire onstage. Her presence is felt immediately and deep down, you know you’re in store for something special.
Through out the rest of the show they stuck mostly to material from the new album with a handful of other tracks mixed in. I found it impressive that they produced such a big full sound despite being just a three piece. That is a testament to the skill level of each member. Drummer Rachel Fuhrer and bassist Eric Larson did a great job creating the back bone to the songs while Lauren played her massively impressive riffs the whole night.
One thing I want to mention here, when I photographed the band earlier in the day, Lauren was this mild mannered and soft spoken, fragile little butterfly, but on stage she is anything but. I mentioned her presence earlier, but it’s worth mentioning again, as much of her vocals involve intense screams and when she is not singing, she rarely goes a few seconds without tossing her hair everywhere, jumping down to the ground, kicking her legs in the air and just generally being an absolute rock star on that stage. Her showmanship adds a very appealing quality to their already impressive music and should put them on your radar as a fan. As the night went on, the crowd seemed to feed of the bands energy, as they were singing along with most songs and cheering the band on in between songs. Just before launching into the set closing “Gleam” the band mentioned that it was one they don’t play often, which was met with loud roars of anticipation from the crowd. It was definitely a treat to see and hear, and by the end of the song I was even more happy that I had been asked to cover this show. Coming in not knowing what to fully expect, I was blown away.
Ume photo gallery: