Indianapolis holds a special place in Umphrey’s McGee history. The band loves playing this city and they always have a great turnout from both fans and family. STS9, on the other had, capitalized on an opportunity to expand their fan base on STUMP tour by infiltrating Umph territory and impressing everyone with a stellar performance in the midst of a beautiful sun set.
I arrived in Indy early Friday afternoon, so early I was able to park right next to the venue just in time to catch Umphrey’s sound check. Security wasn’t posted up at the gates just yet so I walked right into the venue to enjoy my own private show. The best part was, no one really seemed to care I was there because they were too busy preparing for a flawless show at this imaculate outdoor venue.
After STS9’s sound check I decided to explore White River State Park, which is located in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. It is surrounded by Indiana University, museums, and even a zoo. I spent the rest of my afternoon walking around the park and came back to the venue just in time for the gates to open.
It wasn’t long before Up Until Now kicked off the festivities. This DJ has a funky dance party sound with a lot of hip hop elements added to the mix. He is pretty high energy and progressive so it was strange seeing him throw down when the sun was still high in the sky. He entertained the crowd as they ventured into the venue, picked up their free lawn chairs, and found themselves a comfortable spot on the grass. The lights were ineffective due to the sun and the small crowd of people who made it to the show that early in the day seemed distracted with getting shwilled and eating corndogs.
I took some time to check out the merch booth and I noticed quite a bit of new swag made specially for STUMP tour. Each show actually has a limited edition pin you could pick up along with STUMP summer tour t-shirts and posters. Both bands also had some pretty fly new gear to showcase on this tour like Umph’s “Rage.Rest.Repeat” belts and STS9’s neon sunglasses.
Everyone started to settle in The Lawn once STS9 finally took the stage…
Set 1: STS9
STS9 kicked off night 2 of the 14 show tour with a laid back tune called “Grizzly.” Since this was an outdoor venue and the sun was still up, they had to adjust to playing in the daylight, something these festival headliners rarely experience these days.
Saxton’s LED screens provided a psychedelic backdrop for the band and their set eventually cracked open with energy. The treat of the set was “From Now On.” This song rarely makes in into the rotation these days and it was great to see the band get excited to be there, in that specific moment in time.
The crowd started to fill in and by the end of the set the lawn was packed with people. The sun began to set behind the stage and STS9 played a fantastic, yet safe show for a crowd of mostly Umprhey’s fans. They ended with F Word and 20-12, leaving us all on the edge of our lawn chairs with anticipation for the night’s headliners, Umprehy’s McGee.
Grizzly, Equinox, EHM, Inspire Strikes Back, From Now On, Metameme, Kaya, Grow, What Is Love?, Hidden Hand Hidden Fist, Really What?, Rent, F Word, 20-12
Set 2: Umph
The crowd exploded with excitement when Umphrey’s McGee finally took the stage for the second set of the evening. There was at least twice as many people at the Indianapolis show compared to the night before in Louisville and the majority were there to watch Umphrey’s epicness unfold.
The set began with a polished “Believe the Lie” right into a powerful “Words.” You could tell right off the bat Umph was aiming high with this show. I was right in the thick of it, not too far from the rail when “Hurt Bird Bath” started. I could sense an insane energy percolate through the crowd as the song progressed through its motions. By the time the lights matched the energy of the music I thought I was going to go insane. I moved farther back for a better view of the lights and to give myself some space to clear my mind. For a short girl like me, The Lawn offers great lines of sight no matter where you are standing. Therefore, it really didn’t matter where I ended up at this point in the evening, so long as I could hear the beautiful music and see the pretty lights.
Towards the end of the last set the baseball stadium next to White River State Park had an amazing fireworks show, coinciding perfectly with Umph’s “Mulche’s Odyssey.” The song seemed to last forever and I was completely torn between watching the explosions next door and Waful’s light show. Let’s just say Indiana sure knows a thing or two about blowing things up!
Umphey’s encore ended the night on a high note. During “Preabmle”>”Mantis (Ghetts)” Umph threw in some STS9 flavor by teasing “Ramone & Emiglio.” Joel then came out blazing on vocals for Pink Floyd’s “In the Flesh” before David Phipps joined him on keys. David Murphy also replaced Ryan Stasik on bass as the group journeyed into “Another Brick in the Wall.” Witnessing this switchup made the crowd go absolutely bonkers and an epic dance party was had by all….
Believe the Lie > Words, Hurt Bird Bath, Deeper > Cemetery Walk, Cemetery Walk II, Weird Fishes/Arpeggi, Mulche’s Odyssey, The Floor
Encore: Preamble > Mantis Ghetts > In the Flesh > Another Brick in the Wall
 with Dave Murphy replacing Ryan and David Phipps joining Joel
Check out more photos here!