Load remaining images Tucked away from the small Metropolis of Omaha, NE stands the Sumtur Amphitheater. There beneath a cloudy sky, Umphrey’s McGee played an outstanding show for a smaller-than-usual crowd that made the concert even that much more intimate. With the concert tickets being those small raffle tickets, the seclusion and smallness of the show was intact from the beginning.They began the show right at 7:30 and opened with “Room to Breathe”. Followed was “Piranhas”, a newer number that has only been played a couple of times. “Prowler” was next, but the show didn’t really get going until they played “Bright Lights Big City”. It had a good jam, and the irony of the song in a place where no skyline was visible was well done. They played “Draconian” and then the rarer instrumental “End of the Road”. During the entirety of the first set, some fans on the rail were jamming out to Umphrey’s while building a small tower made of beer cans. It reached a nice height and even guitarist and singer Brendan Bayliss took note of it when he said, “For the record that was a very impressive beer can structure my friends.” Umphrey’s then closed out the set with “Rocker II”.The second set was much better executed than the first. It opened with a monster “Der Bluten Kat” with a “Sociable Jimmy” sandwiched in the middle. “Miami Virtue” was probably the improvisatory highlight of the night, as they built the peak to a soaring level. The improvisation was vintage Umphrey’s at their best, and they didn’t want to end it just because they were getting ready for the next song. So they segued it seamlessly into “The Floor”. You could hear “The Floor” coming a mile way, and it was easily the best (and really the only true) segue of the night. “Search 4” saw an extended jam for the outro that was an unexpected surprise as most versions are straightforward. They closed the set with “Andy’s Last Beer”. As per usual, during the bridge, Bayliss, Jake Cinninger, and Andy Farag led the crowd in a clap that went to the abnormal time signature of the song. Omaha folks have something to be proud about; they did a good job of clapping to the beat.The show ended with an encore of The Who’s “Baba O’Reilly”. It was a standard version, and Umphrey’s ended at exactly 10:30. Either they honored a contract that said they would end at such a time or the boys saw the lightning in the distance and didn’t want to get caught in anything bad. So as concertgoers exited the venue happy with the performance Umphrey’s provided, they were also treated to the occasional flashes of light that only Mother Nature can provide. Umphrey’s continues on their Midwest run tonight with a show in Des Moines, IA.– words and photos by Daniel OjedaSETLIST 6/25/15:Room to BreathePiranhasProwlerBright Lights Big CityDraconianEnd of the RoadRocker IIDer Bluten KatSociable JimmyDer Bluten KatMiami Virtue ->The FloorAugustSearch 4Andy’s Last BeerBaba O’Reilly
The Roeland Park City Council earlier this month unanimously approved an agreement into enter a work release program with Johnson County.People incarcerated in relation to municipal offenses can now participate in the work release program, which reduces city expenses, according to city documents. Police Chief John Morris said the city has very few people who are in jail for long periods of time — typically maxed out at two days — so someone in the work release program would be a more serious offender.“I can’t even remember anybody, since I’ve been here, we’ve actually put on [a] work release,” Morris said. “I think this is just another option we’d like to have available for us.”The program benefits participants because “it reduces disruption to their work schedule” and avoids potentially lost wages, according to city documents. People who are unemployed are also accepted into the program, and are assisted with finding employment. Additionally, participants who are not legally allowed to drive are provided with transportation to work.Councilmember Jim Kelly asked how much the city pays, per day, for someone that’s incarcerated. Morris said he believes the city pays $50 a day after a fee increase. The work release program fee is $35, and Kelly clarified that the program would save the city $15 a day per person.The city council unanimously approved the agreement with no further discussion. Agreement details can be found in city documents here.
The 1998 winners France and Croatia, who debuted at the same tournament hosted by France, will contest the finals of the 2018 FIFA World Cup inside the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Sunday.It will be a repeat of their first meeting in the semi-finals of the said tournament when right wingback Lilian Thuram inspired France with a pair of goals in a 2-1 victory on their way to claiming their only title to date.In semi-final action on Tuesday France tamed the much talked about Belgium 1-0 on a Samuel Umtiti second half header, which proved too much for Roberto Martiniez’ so-called “golden generation” of players. Meanwhile, Croatia rallied from a Kieran Trippier fifth-minute free kick set-back with goals from Ivan Perisic and Mario Mandzukic in the second half of extra time for their 2-1 triumph to become the second smallest nation to play in a World Cup final behind only Uruguay, the 1930 and 1950 winners.The four semi-finalists played for the right to contest the Championship game after intriguing quarter-final victories.France blanked Uruguay 2-0; Belgium somehow survived against Brazil in a 2-1 result; England turned back Sweden 2-0 and Croatia outlasted hosts Russia on penalties after playing to a 2-2 result in full and extra time in a riveting affair.Didier Deschamps’ France had emerged top of Group C with two wins and a draw before outscoring Lionel Messi’s troubled Argentina 4-3 in their round of 16 match.They are stocked with young and exciting talent in every department, even as they struggle to convince with a definitive offering during the tournament.Belgium showed cracksBelgium last made the semi-finals in Mexico in 1986 when a pair of Diego Maradona goals ended their interest in the competition. Since then they have seen the emergence of high quality players such as Eden Hazard, Vincent Kompany, Kevin De Bruyne, Romelu Lukaku, Thibaut Courtois, among others, ply their trade in the biggest arenas in Europe.The Russia World Cup was viewed by many as the breakout tournament for a group of players referred to as a “golden generation”. And they began the tournament like a house on fire registering three wins from as many games in the preliminary round of Group G with 3-0 and 5-2 wins over Panama and Tunisia, respectively, before closing out the group with a 1-0 win over England.However, against Japan in their round of 16 match they displayed cracks in their armor, even as they snatched victory from the jaws of defeat in a last-minute goal to edge the Asians 3-2, coming from two goals down in the second half.Lady luck deserted BrazilBut if they were exposed against Japan, they were made to look rather ordinary against Brazil, even as they ran out 2-1 winners. Their victory owed much more to Brazil’s profligacy in front of goal and lady luck, than to their own excellence with and without the ball.Brazil carved out 27 shots (nine) on target, while Belgium mustered only nine shots, including three on target. Courtois was easily their man of the match, a clear sign that the defensive side of their game left a lot to be desired, and thus left him exposed more than they would have wanted.And even though they were the top scoring team, thanks to the presence of Panama and Tunisia in the preliminary phase, their attackers were largely kept at bay, as apart from the two goals, one of which was an own goal by the way, Brazil’s goalkeeper Alisson had very few anxious moments.It was therefore no surprise when France sent them packing in the semi-finals, a defeat which further exposed their limitations in both attack and defense.On the other hand, Brazil’s defense gave up very few chances, as evidenced by the three goals conceded throughout their campaign, while at the other end of the pitch the South Americans were uncharacteristically extremely inefficient with their chances.Croatia displayed character and poiseOn the other side of the draw Croatia were forced to display character, poise, composure and resilience, having been taken all the way to penalties against Sweden and the hosts in an energy-sapping environment.England exposed And after two 120-minute knockout matches, the Croats exposed England for what they really were, a bunch of average players who rode their luck and almost got to the final.Their “route one” approach when Croatia’s more technically sound players wrested control of midfield spoke volumes of the lack of real world class talent assembled by Gareth Southgate.They were gifted the perfect start with Trippier’s early goal and could not have asked for anything better, but seemed to lack players who could keep possession of the ball and force the Croats, who had registered many miles on their legs, to chase ball and expedite fatigue.But instead goalkeeper Jordan Pickford resorted to thumping long balls down field in a performance akin to the ugly days when England were notorious for employing route one football.This style of play encouraged Croatia and provided for them a window to get back into the game and before long their superior technical ability put them in the driver’s seat and the rest is now history.Missed grand opportunity England missed a grand opportunity to advance to the World Cup Final for the first time since winning the title on home soil in 1966.Everything seemed to be falling into place for them on that side of the draw, with defending champions Germany knocked out at the preliminary stage, and 2010 winners Spain unable to overcome the gritty Russians in the round of 16 match-up.The English fans, skeptical at the outset, had started to believe that the World Cup was “coming home”, but instead it will be the players who will be going home much like all but one of their teams, trophy less.And that is to the joy of arguably most football fans.Croatia look to avenge against FranceNow the small nation of Croatia, who seceded from Yugoslavia in 1991, will look to avenge their 1-2 loss to France in the semi-finals in 1998. In four friendly meetings since, France have won 3-0 and 2-0 in 1999 and 2000, respectively, while drawing 2-2 in 2004 and 0-0 in 2011.Will they finally register their first and most important victory against France on Sunday? Only time will tell.