Umphreys Mcgee Night 2 Review
Courtesy of our friends at Live For Live Music
On their 14th anniversary, Umphrey’s McGee came to the Best Buy Theater last night to play the second of two shows this weekend. The band, originally formed at the University of Notre Dame in 1997, has made a variety of small lineup tweaks over the years to create the modern day juggernaut that it has become.
The band opened with a jazzy intro before jumping into “Domino Theory,” off their new album, Death by Stereo. The song took a jazzier turn before going into a “Jimmy Stewart” with lyrics, which showed off Umphrey’s self-designed method of conducting their jams, communicating using hand signals and other visual cues to change keys, tempos, etc as well as improvised lyrics. The next segment was the clear highlight of the first set as the band began with “Intentions Clear” which then seamlessly segued into a cover of Daft Punk’s “Voyager” followed by a spacey take on “White Man’s Moccasins”. The set was then capped off with four more songs, highlighted by a set-closing “Puppet Strings” which brought the crowd to a frenzy leading into halftime.
After a quick set break, Umphrey’s came out firing on all cylinders in an extraordinarily well played, six song set. The band opened with a new song, “Miami Virtue” which featured some great full band improvisation in a jam that lasted nearly fifteen minutes before fizzling out into a beautiful “Glory” which brought a tear to bassist Ryan Stasik’s eyes. Brendan Bayliss, began playing the introduction to one of their oldest songs, “Bob,” before the band dropped into a massive “Bridgeless” which featured yet another “Jimmy Stewart” with lyrics. The band then segued into “The Floor” continuing the heavy stretch of songs, which was a hallmark of the second set. “Pay the Snucka” came next which was a full on metal onslaught, with Jake Cinninger, the band’s lead guitarist, played a lengthy metal solo which featured elements of Van Halen’s “Eruption” and others before the whole band jumped back in for the ending of the song. The band closed their main set with Bob Seger’s “Hollywood Nights” before they finished “Bridgeless.”
After a quick break, the band brought out Jennifer Hartswick for a cover of Etta James’ “At Last” in honor of her recent passing. The band then thanked the crowd before launching into a fifteen-minute rendition of “JaJunk” which caused the whole audience to go ballistic and capped off an incredible weekend of music.
(The London Souls opened the night with a solid, hour-long set.)
Setlist for UM
Intro > Domino Theory > Jimmy Stewart > Domino Theory, Intentions Clear > Voyager > White Man’s Moccasins > Forks > August, Second Song > Puppet Strings
Miami Virtue > Glory, Bob (Fakeout) > Bridgeless > Jimmy Stewart > The Floor, Pay the Snucka I, II, III, Hollywood Nights > Bridgeless
Encore: At Last, JaJunk