Umphrey’s McGee, as you all very well know, is the one band that truly pulls my heart strings. Nothing compares to the musical poetry of their jam-funk-rock ballads. Each song dips and wanes from a sweet, solid groove into a glorious guitar shredding metal rock ballad, leaving you yearning for just one more wild ride. At Summer Camp 2012, the boys played their usual 3 sets, along with an additional private jam-session in a the little white chapel on the hill for 100 of their die-hard UM fans.
Friday night’s set kicked off with the upbeat funk teaser ‘Gurgle’ before melding into a light and bouncy jam-off of ‘2nd Self.’ Stasik kicked in a little more bass and the boys got gangsta’ with a rare ‘Pay the Snucka‘ jam before settling into a little poppy spin-off in Miami Virtue. The crowd grooved together in the sweet, ever-changing melodies as the sun set in a glorious soft orange haze behind the stage.
They jumped into a heart-felt jam of ‘Glory,’ a song so epic that it should be our National Anthem, which faded perfectly into a floaty spin-off of ‘2×2′ before kicking a little funk back into the mix with a lingering performance of ‘Ringo.’ They finished up the first set dancing and tickling their fast-paced guitar and bass licks in and out of ‘Loose Ends’ which ran nicely into a face-melting ‘Puppet String.’
They killed it second set, getting back on stage with the juicy, hard-core guitar rifts of ‘Jekyll & Hyde’ to deviate from the floaty, ethereal wave they left out on first set. They merged that into a nice, drawn out jam of ‘Ocean’s Billy’ before grooving into a hard, nasty version of break-up ballad ‘Mulche’s Odyssey.’ They picked up the groove with the classic ‘Bright Lights,’ got down-right funky with hard bass rifts and sweet key licks in ‘Dump City’ before bringing it back into their oh-so-familiar tease rift with ‘Ocean Billy.’ That swept right into my absolute favorite dance groove ’40s Theme.” They wound the crowd in and out of their sweet, rollicking mayhem with a solid ’46×2,’ a little dance up-chuck ‘Day Nurse’ and a final bounce back into ‘Pay the Snucka‘ to round out one helluva kick-off performance for Scamp 2012! Wooo. I’m red, hot and bothered just writing about it.
The best way I can describe it, I explained to a fellow Scamper, is that it’s “the best sex of your life. Hell, it is life. It winds you up and gets you all heated and mad yet satisfied then brings you back down with soft, soothing tickling bass and keys rifts… and before you can say STOP, it jolts you right into a climax with an epic, face-melting guitar rift.” Only UM knows how to do that. More on Saturday’s performance tomorrow….for now, enjoy previews of the UM tracks mentioned above by clicking on the highlighted tracks. They’re also selling all three sets from Summer Camp 2012 on a USB drive on their website. ‘Til next time music lovers. ~Tiffany