HT faves Umphrey’s McGee wrapped up a two-night stand in Southern California last night with a show chock full of classic material. In fact, outside of the There’s No Crying in Mexico instrumental that kicked off the evening and a cover debut, the newest song Umphrey’s performed at the West Hollywood House of Blues on Saturday was debuted was back in 2004 (Plunger – July 8th, 2004). Using the “Average Song Vintage” stat we employ for Phish setlists in our “The Skinny” columns (add the year each song was debuted and divide it by the total number of songs performed), the Average Song Vintage for last night’s show was 2003 – an unheard of figure for UM.
Mixed in among the many heavy hitters Umphrey’s employed on Saturday night was a rap cover featuring one of the band’s good friends. Longtime UM family member Clayton Halsey helped out with vocals from side-stage on the Chicago sextet’s first-ever performance of I Got Love by Nate Dogg which took place in the middle of Der Bluten Kat. I Got Love is the opening track of the late Nate Dogg’s second studio album – Music and Me. The Der Bluten Kat > I Got Love > Der Bluten Kat segment was one of three song sandwiches utilized by UM last night as they also worked Anchor Drops and Wappy Sprayberry between the beginning and ending of Bridgeless in the first set and fit Plunger, Hangover and The Triple Wide between the beginning and ending of Divisions as the bulk of set two.
Watch Umphrey’s cover of The Song Remains The Same via Faketaper…
HT faves Umphrey’s McGee continued a tour of the West Coast this weekend and as part of the run visited Oakland’s Fox Theater on Saturday night. UM guitarists Jake Cinninger and Brendan Bayliss strapped on acoustics for a segment of Saturday’s first set for a segment that saw them sneak a second-ever performance of Hey Hey What Can I Do by Led Zeppelin in the middle of Nemo.
Umphrey’s first performed the Immigrant Song b-side in Atlanta on December 30, 2012. Jake and Brendan played acoustics on that version as well. YouTuber nowiknowyouryder has uploaded a clip of In The Kitchen from the Fox as well as Hey Hey What Can I Do. Let’s take a look…
If you’ve ever been to an Umphrey’s McGee show, you might have noticed the sound engineer listening to a live feed from the show via headphones. Now fans will have the opportunity to hear the crystal-clear mix through an innovative new program the band has just rolled out.
For $40 plus a deposit, in addition to a concert ticket, those signing up for the program will be given a pair of wireless headphones and seated in a special area where they can listen to this live feed and you’ll get a live download of the show after it ends. This new program will start on March 16th and March 17th with the band’s shows in Oakland, California and Stateline, Nevada respectively. It’s only open to 16 fans at first. If you’re interested, headphone reservations begin at noon CT on Monday, March 11th. Email your name and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org as close to that time as possible.
Here’s the full details about the program from The Floor…
HT faves Umphrey’s McGee will hold their fourth annual football-themed UM Bowl concert at Chicago’s Park West on April 26th. Today, the band has revealed the concepts for each of the four UM Bowl IV quarters. While the concepts for this year’s quarters are the same as UM Bowl III, the order is different this time around and there’s been an added twist.
The first quarter will be a “Raw Stewage” set in which the band weaves past “Jimmy Stewart” improvisations together based on fan voting. Q2′s theme is “All Request Quarter+” featuring tunes voted on by fans from a ballot that will come out soon. The “+” is because this year’s ballot will include “special teams options” such as special solo, duo and trio performances. For Q3, UM will offer up a “Stew Art Event” by performing a set based on ideas texted in by fans. A “Choose Your Own Adventure” set will bring the night to a close with fans determining the direction the band will take.
Here’s the full rundown of what to expect each quarter from the UM Org…
HT faves Umphrey’s McGee are set to play a pair of shows at the Belly Up in Aspen, Colorado on Wednesday and Thursday night. While both performances are sold out, those who can’t attend can watch the shows as they happen via Pay-Per-View webcasts.
[Photo by Chad Smith]
Each webcast will run you $6.99, with packages that also include MP3s of the show available for $14.99. Each gig is scheduled to start at 9PM MT. Head to UMLive.net to purchase 3/6 and 3/7.
Bill Evans’ Soulgrass residency at the Blue Note in NYC continued last night, where the band’s guests for both sets were Umphrey’s McGee guitarist Jake Cinninger and MMW keyboardist John Medeski.
Just as they did on Thursday night, the ensemble tackled UM’s Glory during the late show. The version they laid down last night was completely different from Thursday’s version, not only because Popper wasn’t on hand but also due to the speed and approach, so we wanted to share MKDevo’s exceptional video of Glory from Friday’s late set. Take a peek…
Earlier today we posted a video of Bill Evans’ Soulgrass, Jake Cinninger, John Popper and John Medeski performing Glory by Umphrey’s McGee as shot by our pal LazyLightning55. Well LL has just posted another clip from the concert. Watch as the ensemble tackles Blues Traveler’s Runaround…
Bill Evans’ Soulgrass’s guest-filled residency at the Blue Note in NYC continued last night, where the band was joined by Blues Traveler front man John Popper, keyboardist John Medeski and Umphrey’s McGee guitarist Jake Cinninger for an early and late set.
During the late set the ensemble offered a gorgeous take on UM staple Glory that featured Cinninger, Popper, Evans and Medeski each taking solos. Our pal LazyLightning55 caught the magical performance on video for our viewing pleasure. Take a look…
HT faves Umphrey’s McGee will return to headline Red Rocks in Morrison, Colorado on June 7th, but instead of the more jam-centric co-bills of years past, this year they’re bringing Americana acts Dr. Dog and Delta Spirit to round out the lineup.
In addition, UM will play the Chautauqua Auditorium in Boulder on June 8th. A pre-sale for VIP packages tickets to the two shows will take place on Wednesday, February 27th, at 10am MT/11am CT via UMTicketing. The Chautauqua general on-sale will take place on March 1st at 10:00 am MT/11:00 am CT, while the Red Rocks general on-sale will go down a few hours later on the 1st at 12:00 pm MT/1:00 pm CT.
On the final night of December’s Mayan Holidaze festival, an evening that the Mayans predicted would be the last evening before the world ended, Umphrey’s McGee honored the occasion by covering R.E.M.’s 1987 hit It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine).
Nearly as old as rock and roll itself is the concert tour program. Before the internet age took hold, you would regularly find tour programs for sale at venue merch tables for artists from all genres and levels of success. It allows fans to find out more about the band they just saw in concert and gives them a keepsake to bring home with them. In recent years the tour program has become the domain of legacy acts and mainstream hitmakers…until now. Umphrey’s McGee will sell a 48-page 15th Anniversary Concert Program through their website and at the merch table for 2013 UM concerts.
An editorial team consisting of Umphrey’s organization members, myself and a few other valuable contributors have spent the last six months creating a kickass document worthy of the band’s first foray into tour programs. Among the treats inside are band biographies, a look at the touring vehicles of Umphrey’s McGee throughout the years, band member-penned lists, a page for each year of the band’s existence featuring photos, multiple pages of memorabilia shots, a crossword puzzle and much more. There’s something for everyone, from UM “virgins” attending their first show to hard-core Umphreaks. The program even includes a scorecard and lists of all Umphrey’s songs and covers to help you keep track of the setlist at a particular show.
For an example of a “Year Page,” check out the 2003 page…
UPDATE 2/4 @ 4:15PM ET: Umphrey’s has just revealed that UMBowl IV will take place at Park West. Tickets will cost $99 (+ $3 fee donated to Rock The Earth) and will be available Friday, Feb. 8th at noon CT through etix.com or at the Park West box office. There’s a limit of two tickets per order. In addition, UMBowl IV VIP and travel packages will be available through UMTicketing starting Wednesday, Feb. 6 at noon CT
As has become tradition on Super Bowl Sunday, HT faves Umphrey’s McGee have announced their annual football-themed, interactive UMBowl concert. UMBowl IV will take place in Chicago on April 26th.
Over the next few weeks UM will reveal more information about the concert including the venue, ticketing details and what the theme will be for each of the event’s four quarters. This evening, they shared a look at how they came to a decision on whether to hold UMBowl this year…
For UMBowl I, which was held at Chicago’s Lincoln Hall on April 24th, 2010, the first quarter was an acoustic set, the second quarter was one of the band’s Stew Art sets, the third quarter was an all-request set and the fourth quarter was a “Choose Your Own Adventure Quarter” in which attendees helped guide what the band would do. UMBowl II was held at Park West in Chicago on April 2nd, 2011. “Choose Your Own Adventure” returned as the first quarter, Stew Art came back for the second quarter, the third set was a “Special Teams Quarter” that saw different lineups on each song performed and the fourth set was of the all-request variety. UM returned to Park West for UMBowl III on April 28th, 2012. The first set was an all-request quarter, the second set was a Stew Art event, the third set was a “Choose Your Own Adventure Quarter” while the UMBowl III finale was the “Raw Stewage Quarter” in which the band weaved together the top vote-getters from a list of past “Jimmy Stewart” passages distributed to attendees before the show.
Among the highlights were Bill Evans, who’s no stranger to the Beacon from his multiple sit ins with the Allmans, guesting on Example 1, an outstanding Ocean Billy in the first set and UM’s third-ever performance of their Life During Exodus mashup which combines parts of Bob Marley’s Exodus, Life During Wartime by Talking Heads and Zappa’s City of Tiny Lites. HT photo editor Jeremy Gordon was on hand at the pitless venue and has shared a selection of his shots from Umphrey’s Beacon debut.
If there’s ever an example of hard work paying off, look no further than the career of Umphrey’s McGee who celebrated their 15th anniversary at Brooklyn Bowl on Sunday night. Far from an overnight sensation, UM has played over 1,800 shows and 730 different songs since forming on the campus of Notre Dame in early 1998. The sextet built a huge and loyal fanbase organically and never skipped a step along the way. As an example, take their history of NYC performances over the years – they started at the Wetlands Preserve in 1999 and stopped at every step along the way (Wetlands > Lion’s Den > Knitting Factory > Bowery Ballroom > Irving Plaza > Best Buy > SummerStage > Beacon) leading to Friday’s sell out of the band’s first-ever show at the iconic Beacon Theatre. The Brooklyn Bowl show gave Umphrey’s and their fans a chance to celebrate a milestone that 99.9% of bands never reach, 15 years together without killing each other.
[All Photos by Jeremy Smith]
Umphrey’s Brooklyn Bowl performance was announced just a few days before the show took place and sold out quicker than any show in the venue’s three-and-a-half year history. Ever the fan-friendly act, Umphrey’s made sure anyone who wanted to experience the show, as it happened, had that opportunity by offering a Pay-Per-View webcast via UMLive.net and a live simulcast on Sirius/XM’s Jam On channel. Early in the show UM guitarist Brendan Bayliss mentioned those at home when he explained that his infant son Roman was taking in his first Umphrey’s show through the live stream. Bayliss asked the crowd to say hello to Roman and most in the capacity crowd gladly obliged.
When it comes to the setlist, how does a band celebrate their 15th anniversary? Do you spend the majority of the show reliving the past and focusing on material you played at that first show or do you look towards the future? For Umphrey’s McGee the answer seemed to include a little from Column A and a little from Column B. The Chicago-based act’s first set contained three songs that had been debuted in the past two years as well as classic material and even a tune that predates the band. During the first set, those on hand were offered a taste of the many sounds Umphrey’s has experimented with – both in terms of jamming and songwriting – since their humble beginnings such as a jazzy interlude in Anchor Drops, a disco-meets-prog Comma Later excursion, UM’s version of DnB in the Blue Echo jam and a dance party friendly Bright Lights, Big City set closer that unexpectedly (both for the band and the fans) included a cover of Michael Jackson’s Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’.
Over the past few months Bonnaroo has been rolling out videos from their Hay Bale Sessions series of performances on the Bonnaroo365 YouTube channel. The series is described as “Tucked away backstage at Bonnaroo, buried beneath a stack of hay bales, is a room where artists duck out of the weekend’s madness to play stripped-down versions of their songs. The Hay Bale Sessions will lead you through a secret doorway where you can join artists to watch these pure and intimate performances.” The latest set of videos from the Hay Bale Sessions features HT faves Umphrey’s McGee.
On Wednesday, UM’s Hay Bale Sessions performance of the funky Comma Later debuted on Bonnaroo365 followed by Domino Theory yesterday. Today, we’re pleased to help premiere Umphrey’s take on the soul-laden Booth Love that the sextet laid down for the Hay Bale Sessions. Here’s a playlist containing all three songs as well as other Hay Bale Sessions performances…
In other UM-related news, SiriusXM’s Jam_ON channel will broadcast the band’s sold-out anniversary show live from Brooklyn Bowl this Sunday. Tune in starting at 8PM ET for a special pre-show that will be hosted by Jam_ON’s Ari Fink and UM LD Jefferson Waful. I’ll be a guest on the broadcast as will our friend Mike Greenhaus of Relix/Jambands.com, with other surprises in store.