moe. made their jubilant return to Denver, as makeup for two missed shows in July. Their drummer Vinnie Amico came down with a case of mono, and they had to postponed several shows at the end of the summer tour. The wait was long but worthwhile, as the shows added openers for both nights that included local favorites YAMN and The Congress.
YAMN has been in Jam Band Purgatory and are just back from a yearlong hiatus. New to the group is Paul Evans on keyboards, which is part of the reason for the extended absence from the scene. One would expect some jitters or general nervousness from the band considering the time since their last show. Quite the opposite was true, with YAMN coming out as the consummate showmen and blasting through a smoking opening set.
Set I: Burner, Apparition, Floating Leave, Low Gravity, Ricochet, Home Sweet Home^
^w Chuck Garvey
As the opener for a band like moe., it’s important to hit it hard. With lots of potential new fans in the audience and only forty-five minutes to play, it’s important to make an impression quickly. That’s exactly what Yamn did at the Ogden. Soaring through the various sounds of jam and incorporating riff-y electronic effects, YAMN wowed the early arrivers. They proved to the crowd that they are still a force to contend with on the local scene. Given their absence they couldn’t have asked for a better show to reintroduce themselves to the hometown crowd. The highlight was a Chuck Garvey sit-in on Motely Crue’s “Home Sweet Home.” Yamn is known for their random covers of classic rock tunes, but this was an unexpected treat.
After a short set break the five guys named moe. took the stage looking a bit more Grizzly Adams than usual. Al stepped up to his guitar donning a salt and pepper beard and Rob came out looking generally unshaven. They opened with a classic “Graffenberg.”
Set I: Dr. Graffenberg, Hi and Lo> The Pit, Not Coming Down> Wormwood> Deep This Time, Recreational Chemistry
Set II: Silver Sun> Puebla> Interstellar Overdrive> Head, Awesome Gary> Brent Black*
ENCORE: Four> The Ghost Of Ralph’s Mom
*Rob Teased the “Peanuts Theme Song” during his bass solo while wearing a Storm Trooper mask.
Thanks to Chuck Miller for posting the recording on Archive.
“DG” stretched on into the realm of spacey with a huge solo from Al before the song melted down into a pleasant “Hi and Lo.” I like this set placement, it was a bit of a step back from “Graffenberg,” but it fit in nicely. From there they broke into the darkly, stunning “The Pit.” By this point I had made it back from the photo pit to Amy and company located to the right of the soundboard. There was an over enthused girl to my right who upon my arrival collapsed into a seizure. Amy and I caught her and braced her as several slacked-jawed gawkers gazed on in bewilderment. I finally said, “Someone go get help,” at which point the girl snapped awake and a yellow jacketed security guard took her away. Not the best way to start a show. The familiar beat of “Not Coming Down” brought the show back into focus before the band took a mid-set breather with a classy “Wormwood.” From the tranquil solitude of “Wormwood” the band emerged with Rob taking the microphone on a straightforward “Deep This Time.” “Recreational Chemistry” was anything but straightforward. Stretching on to almost 25 minutes, and again seeing Al participating in an absolute shred fest, and Jim killing it on the vibes; it was an amazing way to end the first set. One can only assume that the extended “Rec Chem” was a nod to the recent passing of Amendment 64 in Colorado.
moe. came back with a gorgeous “Silver Sun” that morphed into an dark rhythmic back and forth. The hallmark of the second set would be long jams with limited singing. It really felt like the boys just wanted to play. “Puebla” reached the ten-minute mark and continued on the darker path. moe. followed up with a massive version of Pink Floyd’s “Interstellar Overdrive.” This was a track they used to play a lot in the mid to late nineties and gets tossed into the rotation a couple times a year. It’s always a nice song to catch and this version just builds spectacularly. “Head” exploded out of the Syd Barrett classic with the .rons going nuts., but “Awesome Gary” into “Brent Black” was the highlight of the entire show. The “Brent Black” featured a nice drum solo before Rob returned to the stage, donned a Storm Trooper mask, and delivered one of the most amazing bass solos I’ve seen from him. His solo included a holiday wink to the crowd in the form a “Peanuts Theme Song” tease. The band returned to the stage to finish out “BB” and thus the second set.
moe. came back with a tasty “Four” into a brief “The Ghost of Ralph’s Mom” encore to end the first night at The Ogden. With the opener moe. pushed right up against the 2 AM curfew, but managed to squeak this one out at the buzzer. This was a solid show that ventured into the realm of space and deep jam throughout both sets. It definitely felt like the show for the fans. Night two would prove to be a show more suited for the masses.
The once brazen Kimock seems finer in his approach these days. The former phenom of the late era psychedelic scene of San Francisco has come a long way from his early days with Zero and Kingfish. His performances with Rat Dog, Phil and Friends, and Steve Kimock Band have become legendary, and the reason is that Kimock has finally solidified his place within the band dynamic. Instead of going all out and simply shredding, he has found a subtlety to his playing that allows for other musicians to engage and compliment wonderfully. I have seen this shift in Kimock’s performances coming over many years. At the Aggie, he seemed to come full circle. Balancing lead and jamming back and forth with legendary keyboardist Bernie Worrell.
The inclusion of Worrell in this lineup is simply breathtaking. This man has so much musical history that to see him play in a room the size of the Aggie is an awesome experience. Worrell single-handedly invented funk keyboard and played in two of the most influential bands in American musical history. No doubt he is getting up there in age, but at 68 he is still touring regularly with several projects. The rhythm section consisting of troubadour drummer Wally Ingram and former Gov’t Mule bassist Andy Hess are the solid foundation on which this group is built. Hess brought the funk from time to time, but mostly stayed in the pocket. Ingram too stayed consistent and conservative throughout most of the night.
They opened with an extended jam on Bob Marley’s “Get Up, Stand Up.”
SET I: Get Up, Stand Up, You Can’t Do That> Super Stupid, Sun, Sun, Sun, Hey Man, This Must Be The Place (Naïve Melody)
SET II: 54-46 Was My Number, You’re The One, Come Together, Y-Spy> Five B4 fUNK, Tongue ‘n’ Groove
ENCORE: Burning Down The House
Thanks to Taper Corey and Kind Recordings for the UPLOAD.
Kimock demonstrated his copious skills on the pedal steel for their instrumental take on The Beatles’ “You Can’t Do That.” They blasted off with Funkadelic’s “Super Stupid,” which saw Worrell on the rapid-fire lyrics and Kimock absolutely exploding on the slide guitar. The went into jazzy rendition of Zero’s “Sun, Sun, Sun.” In just the first half of the first set we were witnessing are real musical meld between not only Worrell and Kimock’s playing, but their actual song catalogs. Sticking primarily to instrumental tunes, original track “Hey Man” began much like a traditional jazz-infused jam, but soon broke down into the avant-garde with Worrell hitting pinging notes on his synthesizer and Kimock wailed away over the top. They ended the set with a much-anticipated trip to the Talking Heads catalog with “This Must Be The Place.” The musical side of the song was top notch, but unlike “Super Stupid” Bernie’s vocals were choppy and he seemed fatigued at times. They jammed on this classic well past the ten-mark before calling the first set to a close.
The band returned to the stage with Toots and They Maytals’ “54-46 Was My Number.” It was a nice way to ease in the set and really demonstrated the diversity of both Hess and Ingram in the rhythm section. “You’re The One,” another Kimock original jam, contains some heavy give and take between Kimock and Worrell, before they busted out their second Beatles jam of the night with “Come Together.” “Y-Spy” was a funky journey that finally saw Hess really taking it up a notch. They segued beautifully into “Five B4 fUNK” which is another Kimock original. They finished the set with a delicate Kimock tune “Tongue ‘n’ Groove.” It was beautifully constructed from the ground up with the virtuoso guitarist showing his range. They encored with the Talking Heads’ “Burning Down The House.” Again Bernie sang and it was a little rough, but the enthusiastic crowd backed him up with a massive sing-along. All in all it was one of the best Kimock shows I’ve seen and best lineup he has put together in years. I hope they continue to tour, write, and grow as a group. There is such an immense amount of talent in the band. It would be interesting to see how they sounded together after a couple years of regular touring.
The moment Charlie Otto sauntered onto the Vic stage, politely asking you to listen to a tape he wanted to play, you were magically looped back to 1984. Not Orwell’s 1984, but David Byrne’s where big suits, spandex clad fly girls, and lamps are perfectly acceptable dance partners for the evening if the mood strikes.
This Must Be The Band is one of the only Talking Heads cover bands in Chicago. More importantly they also are the most adept at conveying an accurate representation of the actual band members down to their mannerisms. Charlie Otto is to David Byrne as Day-Lewis is to President Lincoln. He simply owns the characters likeness so much that one can almost forget who is onstage until, out of costume, Otto reminds taking a few requests once the performance portion of the evening is complete.
Byrne (Charlie Otto) opens wearing white shoes with the familiar drum cadence of “Psycho Killer” and is alone onstage with his acoustic and boom box. As the gunfire puts him into a spastic whirl stumbling like the last scenes of “Scarface” he is joined by the core members of the band in each of the first four songs. With each successive song, Byrne is cumulatively joined onstage by Tina Weymouth (Jamie Jay) for “Heaven” (with Lynn Mabry (Tawny Newsome) providing harmony vocals from backstage, second by Chris Frantz (Alan Maniacek) for “Thank You for Sending Me an Angel”, and third by Jerry Harrison (Jim Dinou) for “Found a Job”. Performance equipment is gradually wheeled out and wired up to the bare stage between and throughout the performances, as Talking Heads continue to be augmented by several additional musicians, most of whom had extensive experience in funk: back-up singers Lynn Mabry and Edna Holt (Kasey Foster), keyboardist Bernie Worrell (again played by Dinou), and percussionist Steve Scales (Pat Sweeney). The first song to feature the entire lineup is “Burning Down the House“. The energy when the first lyrics burst onto the full fervor crowd is palpable. Lighting is key and TMBTB nailed it on one of the most important tracks. Certainly the song built to a crescendo perfectly and the crowd responded by singing the chorus throughout. The audience also held a fixation upon a singular white balloon as they toyed with it which fit the evening’s jovial atmosphere. Like Byrne it flitted about on a whim seemingly unable to find a comfortable resting place. Otto truly captures Byrne’s idea that music should be experienced and not just listened to and TMBTB’s devoted fan admiration can be viewed as a sign they represented to the highest level of flattery.
Byrne leaves the stage at one point, to allow the Weymouth–Frantz-led side-band the Tom Tom Club to perform their song “Genius of Love“. There was much funky love laid down by Jamie Jay and Alan Maniacek, and the dressed to impress Wedding Singer themed crowd let loose their inner 80s in a spectacle not soon to be topped.
Without a cast and crew equally dedicated to representing the others involved the project would fall flat and not have as great an impact. Many can sing and act like Byrne, but few groups are lucky enough to interact with a full band while blocking the stage movement in perfect choreography. Every run in place, arm condor swing, and crawl on the floor with a microphone move are executed without a forced feel. One thing I read Byrne wanted to achieve by giving a full view of everything happening on the stage was to ensure that interactions between the performers would not be lost with choppy camera shots. TMBTB is not mimicking the movement onstage, they become it and live it live through the audience.
True to the DVD version TMBTB played three tracks “Big Business”, “I Zimbra”, “Cities” before inviting the stage crew back onstage to take applause and join them for a song and a few requests. The umpteenth installment of their annual gig recreating “Stop Making Sense” sold out before the doors opened ensuring TMBTB has “Found A Job” at least for one evening each year. Otto’s side project Savvy is scheduled to play Martyr’s 11/30 along with Dozens and Magic Box.
Euforquestra returned to Fort Collins for a hometown show at the Aggie with friends Roster McCabe and D. Bess. Both Euforquestra and D. Bess have performed at Summer Camp. In FoCo Euforquestra historically has been a solid draw, but the venue never completely filled in on Friday. D. Bess is the former lead singer of Iowa City reggae outfit Public Property. He currently performs as a solo project utilizing loops and his diverse skills as a multi-instrumentalist. Playing a blend of originals and covers, he slowly built up each song one riff at a time. Having seen D. Bess before, I have to say that he as come a long way with his looping skills. His performance lasted just under an hour before he gave up the mic for Minneapolis’ Roster McCabe.
Roster McCabe is an amalgamation of jam. They blend elements of soul and funk with electronic, dance, and rock. The band has been making regular jaunts out to Colorado for years now, and continues to energize audiences throughout the country.
SET I: The Traveler, MMM, Spark A Light, Paper Crowns, Speed, Regulate, Stargazer, Take A Breath
Their one-hour set blasted by rather quickly leaving some fans wanting more. The silky vocals of Alex Steele washed over the crowd, as their consistent rhythm section made up of Jeff Peterson and Scot Muellenberg stayed tight throughout the set. This allowed for some incredible interplay between the guitarists. They ran the gamut alternating between funky break beats and an all out electro dance party. The powerful and progressive “Paper Crowns” acted as the anchor point of the set, but the funky, retro “Stargazer” was the highlight.
After a short intermission Euforquestra took the stage around 11:30 PM. They opened with a nasty version of Herbie Hancock’s “Hang Up Your Hangups.”
SET I: Hang Up Your Hangups, Let’s Dance> Called You, Hopscotch, Road Funk, Solutions, Price Is Right, Obatala> Change Me, The Events of December 11, Instant Coffee, Cause A Reaction, Dr. Standby> Sexx Laws
ENCORE: Yogi’s Day Out
You can download the show at http://archive.org/details/euf2012-10-06.mk41.flac16. Thanks to Eric Wilkens for posting.
Euforquestra is currently undergoing some changes. With the departure of original percussionist Matt Grundstad and bassist Ben Soltau, there has been a shift in the rhythm section. With Grosso moving back over to bass and newcomer Craig Babineau replacing him on kit, they were joined by yet another fresh face, Scott Mast on percussion. With all of the changes you would think that it would have a distinct effect on their sound, however I was amazed at how well they played together. A vocal rise gave way to David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance” which really woke up the crowd and got the night going. The bouncy “Called You” broke down into riff-.y “Hopscotch” which really gave guitarist Mike Tallman a chance to rip it up for the audience. Fan favorite “Road Funk” was a nice addition to the set, with a huge “Solutions” waiting in the wings. The energy-infused “Obatala” into “Change Me” was yet another highlight in this non-stop dance party. This band has the ability to shoot out of the gate like a bunny-crazed greyhound, or step it back into a funky groove that soothes the soul. “December 11” has become another standard from Euforquestra, but the building groove of “Instant Coffee” was a nice change of pace. They ended the set with “Dr. Standby” into Beck’s “Sexx Laws. Euforquestra performed the music of Beck at this year’s Camp Eurforia and have been sneaking his songs into their setlists from time to time ever since. They are doing a Halloween tour featuring Beck’s music at the end of the month as well. They encored the show with Ross Martin’s “Yogi’s Day Out.” This was definitely an eclectic show from Euforquestra with a little bit of everything. They pulled out a few covers and showed that even with some changes in personnel that they will continue to play well and in a manner that fans have come to expect.
After a lazy night with Railroad Earth at The Boulder Theater it was time for the main event with both RRE and Umphrey’s McGee showcasing their skills at Red Rocks. Seeing UM always reminds me of Summer Camp, and gets me excited for next year’s festival. CIT Tiffany was also in attendence at the show and you can read her review of Red Rocks and UM at the Boulder Theater here. Opting out of throwing their third Red, Rocks, & Blue show around the 4th of July, UM instead, created a late summer run that included both bands playing in Boulder. Traffic was murder as all the Coloradoans sped down the road for one more summer adventure before the leaves turned. We arrived at the box office, which was swamped with all manner of wooks, hippie chicks, and lot regulars. It was like working my way through the Cantina on Mos Eisley in Star Wars complete with alien life forms and shitty oboe jams. After procuring my pass we headed to the top and parked in Upper North. The lot was full as randoms milled about waiting to head inside. Our time was short, but we managed to see a few friends and have a beer before finding a spot inside.
The show was GA again meaning that all of Red Rocks was wide open. Fans squeezed to the front as the middle quickly filled in. Railroad Earth took the stage with a massive “Seven Story Mountain” to start their almost two-hour set.
SET I: Seven Story Mountain, Happy Song, Gold Rush, Mighty River, Saddle Of The Sun, The Old Man and the Land, Elko, Mourning Flies, Lone Croft Farewell, Hunting Song, Long Way To Go, Spring-Heeled Jack, Colorado
Overall the Railroad set just had more energy than the previous night in Boulder. They were playing to the crowd with long meandering jams and even playing in a borderline psychedelic style towards the end of their set. Railroad Earth is a great band that continues to grow and evolve. Every year that they come to Colorado they bring a new song and stylistic shift that broadens their appeal and furthers their ability to excite audiences. In just the last three years they have come so far, I can honestly say when they bring the energy they are a tough band to beat live. Last year RRE played Red Rocks with Yonder Mountain String Band, but making a shift and hoping to open up their sound to new fans, they decided to play with Umphrey’s McGee. I for one think this is a bold move on their part and an excellent way to get exposure in Colorado. Most YMSB fans would know RRE, but that is not necessarily true of UM fans. Not to mention that this set was a solid introduction for anyone who was new to seeing them live. Highlights of the show included a strong “Elko” and a stunning “Spring Heeled-Jack.” They ended the opening set appropriately enough with “Colorado.”
Umphrey’s was up next and at this point there was still plenty of room at the top of the venue. I’m not sure why UM has such a hard time selling out Red Rocks. It seems that they did everything to promote the show properly including ticket giveaways, announcing they would be filming a DVD, creating social media buzz, and more. They seem to be cursed at The Edge; they just hit a wall around 8,000 attendees every year, never really breaking that barrier. The members of Umphrey’s have been having fun with some mock political ads featuring Joel Cummins and Andy Farag for president. Both sets began with an attack ad from both sides.
After the ad they opened with a fun but quick “There’s No Crying In Mexico.”
SET I: There’s No Crying In Mexico> All In Time> ‘Jimmy Stewart’*> All In Time, Puppet String> 2×2, Miami Virtue> The Linear> Weird Fishes/Arpeggi, The Floor
SET II: Ocean Billy, Nothing Too Fancy> Mulche’s Odyssey, End of the Road, Conduit> Nothing Too Fancy, Plunger> Puppet String
ENCORE I: Kashmir^
ENCORE II: JaJunk
*with Lyrics ^with Railroad Earth
This is just a classic Umphrey’s show, featuring some solid back and forth jamming as well as amazingly tight delivery, which has been their hallmark for the better part of a decade now. The “All In Time” “Jimmy Stewart” sandwich stretched on to the 20-minute mark showing the band’s readiness to go off the deep end right from the onset. After the band caught their breath they went into another long version of “Puppet String” which was left unfinished. The “2×2” was a chance for the band to stretch out under Bayliss’s singing. “Miami Virtue” was a welcomed tune as it has been slowly developing as a crowd favorite since its release on Death By Stereo. Bayliss again took the vocals with the progressive-tinged “The Linear.” Umphrey’s surprised the crowd with the Radiohead cover “Weird Fishes/Arpeggi,” which was done quite well. They ended the first set with a foreboding “The Floor,” leaving many fans chomping at the bit for set two. This was just a solid first set offering from UM. They established that they were ready to jam, and that they were definitely still playing at the top of their game.
The second set began another campaign ad and another enormous jam this time on “Ocean Billy.” The “Nothing Too Fancy” built very nicely as the band layered their instrumentation quite well, before it erupted into crunchy “Mulche’s Odyssey.” They came back down to planet earth with a tasty “End of the Road.” Umphrey’s blasted off with a dark take on “Conduit” which felt like the pivot point of the entire set. Kris Myers and Andy Farag brought the heat here before the band made their way back into the close of “Nothing Too Fancy.” They ended the second set with an incredible “Plunger” back into “Puppet String.” The second set was a beautiful display of how well these guys play together as a group. They listen to each other and they know what the other members of the band are thinking. Every time I see Umphrey’s live it’s like looking at a perfectly timed engine with all the components completely in synch. It is because they are so tight that they continue to attract new fans and push the limits of their musical potential.
The first encore may have been the highlight of the entire show with Railroad Earth sitting in with UM on Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir.” RRE did get lost in the mix a bit, but it was definitely a fun experiment. I honestly thought that UM would entertain some more acoustic playing given the fact that they have performed several stripped down shows as of late. This was not the case, rather RRE played up to a heavier sound, which is definitely apparent in this encore. Umphrey’s came back for a second encore solo and played a nice “JaJunk” to close the show. It was a pleasant way to close out Red Rocks for the summer and an enjoyable show all around. The combination of RRE and UM made for an interesting dynamic. I look forward to the day when UM will become fully embraced in Colorado and finally sell out Red Rocks. They certainly deserve it.
After much anticipation throughout the year, Umphrey’s McGee just wrapped up an amazing weekend in Colorado with opener Railroad Earth. This past Friday evening, the boys convened at the holy grail of U.S. venues, Red Rocks Amphitheater, to bring the funk in the geological wonder that exists more than 6,000 feet above sea level. And bring the face-melting jammy goodness they did.
First set, they came out of the gates with guns blazing, serving up UM classic All In Time , plunging right into a mean”Jimmy Stewart”* then bringing it all back home after a few nasty bass lines and sexy guitar licks from Jake. They revved it up for one of their 2012 summer tour favorites Puppet String then burst into 2×2, slid into Miami Virtue and The Linear and ended on a high note with Weird Fishes/Arpeggi and The Floor. With a DVD/CD set being filmed straight from the show, they were on fire, whipping out intricately timed rifts and exquisitely tuned rhythms on every spectrum.They brought it all home and UM fans to their knees with their own unique twist on Zeppelin classic ‘Kashmir’ followed by their own intense rock ballad ’Jajunk.’
The next night, they did it all over again to a more intimate crowd sold out crowd at Boulder Theater. First face-melting session included the likes of Jekyll & Hyde followed by rare jam pulled out of the hat earlier this year in Charlotted, NC, White Man’s Moccasin. Jamming straight into the smooth feel good baby making tune Comma Later and diving head first into the funky goodness of Bridgeless. They teased Slacker and Crucial Taunt before bringing it back around in true UM style with Bridgeless, reminding you where that jam started hours ago.
Second set brought an interesting mix to the table, opening with the headbanging debauchery of ‘Wizard Burial Ground’ then sliding into August and another summer 2012 favorite ‘Deeper’. The crowd was in full force, banging their heads and moshing the floor when they pumped out ‘The Crooked One’ the jammy goodness of ’Andy’s Last Beer,’ closing it all out with first time lick Liberty Echo* and all-time classic ‘Miss Tinkle’s Overture’. Next stop: another sold-out show in Birmingham Alabama! UM ON! RAWK FACE!
Okay, okay…so you missed the last few shows because you were tired and hungover from a long night of Apples to Apples and PBRs or you just couldn’t wrangle up the $100 and a few days off work to get your booty on the dance floor. We can’t make ‘em all that’s for sure. Luckily, rock gods and Summer Camp veterans Umphrey’s McGee has you covered. Always on the forefront of keeping you in tune (even when your snuggled up on the couch with a bag of Fritos and a cold one), Umphyrey’s McGee is known for their technological prowess in the music scene. From live-streaming to their infamous UmBowls where attendees can text in their favorite song to the band and hear it live mashed up into one of their progressive funk jams– these boys don’t skip a beat and keep their fans on their toes and in the game at all times.
So, if you couldn’t make it out to the Congress Theater in Chicago– no worries. Starting in just 10 short minutes, Umphrey’s McGee will be live-streaming the entire show complete with behind-the-scenes snapshots and interviews. So, click open a new tab, grab those pork rind and pour a glass of Chardonnay because this Sunday is about to melt your face! Couch tour starts NOW!
Featuring an eclectic mix of jam-band gurus, hip hop heroes and electronic wizardry marching on the front lines of the inaugural Summer Set Music Festival party line, this weekend’s fest. should be a helluva throw down for Wisco (as my new Scamp friends from Wisconsin told me to enunciate their beloved home state). Aside from headliner’s Pretty Lights, Umphrey’s McGee, Big Gigantic, NAS, Blackstar and YelaWolf– the sure-fire hot commodities certain to raise a ruckus, the up-and-comers on the bill round this fest out nicely. With the added touch of a little reggae roots rock from John Brown’s Body and the electronic prowess of beat masters Bonobo and RJD2, this assorted grab bag of musical savvy is genius on the part of the festival organizers.
More and more, we’re seeing the blending of musical genres at what were once dubbed with inherently jam-band musical talents and it’sa true testament to our generation and the performers spreading their wings to see such a variety of performers share their craft at such a unique event. While electronic music has certainly been a part of the mix for sometime, the last year has truly brought the on-slaught of hip hop into the music festival scene. (and I like it!!) Mos Def & Talib Kweli after a nasty 2 hour UM set– yes please!
And yes, for their kick-off fest. Summer Set was able to snatch up long-time Summer Camp electronic-funk-jam gurus Umphrey’s McGee. The boys have been on fire this year (see my earlier post HERE), throwing down late night performances and into the morning sets at Bonnaroo, Hangout Music Festival and of course the sick nasty three-part performances at Summer Camp Music Festival this year. I can’t wait to hear what they have up their sleeves for Summer Set which will be followed by an East Coast run my way to play at one of our many hometown breweries Pisgah Brewing Company.
For all you Summer Set goers– enjoy the boogie and I’ll catch up with you after the boys throw down at Pisgah after! Onward and upward ~Tiffany
The progressive rock gods of Umphrey’s Mcgee are on fire these days, wielding their finely tuned instruments as golden swords in the battle of jam band face melting show stoppers. Their infamous Summer Camp 2012 sets blazed the woods with their usual intricate and intensely woven jam-rock ballads, keeping both die-hard UM fans satisfied and newcomers yearning for more. In case you live on another planet and aren’t familiar with their unique, experimental melodies, let me break it down for you.
Their sound is like no other, offering listeners a poo-poo platter of hard rock, funk, blues and electronica, all mushed together with a sweet rhythm melody pulling all of the flavors into one mouthwatering meal that only leaves you guessing what will come next and hungry for more. In fact, Relix magazine dubbed them The Last Jamband Standing in their March issue this year, dishing them out as playing “some of the most densely composed rock around, changing keys and time signatures with head-spinning” finesse”. And those words are so true.
After wowing scampers with their eclectic 80s hair band dance grooves, Umphrey’s McGee has continue to make hefty rock god waves in their intense summer tour, giving younger music lovers around the world a taste of the old-school jam band festival scene. From their mind-blowing four hour rock-n-roll late night spectacle at Bonnarroo to their rollicking beach-side show at Hangout Fest in Alabama, Umphrey’s Mcgee is a band you don’t want to miss this year. Tickets are still available for their upcoming Red Rocks show in September as well as their recently announced New Years Atlanta run! See you on the dance floor! ~Tiffany
After shooting Bob Weir with Chris Robinson and Jackie Greene at Summer Camp, I was incredibly excited to see them at my summer home, Mishawaka. For those that don’t know, The Mishawaka is a gem in the Poudre Canyon which holds just around 800 people. It’s like a rustic log cabin of a stage set on a flowing river. It is a picturesque bucket of love. Amy and I took the early bus up and there was already a nice sized crowd getting set for this acoustic blowout. The three troubadours took the stage with a beautiful “Bertha.”
SET I: Bertha, Friend of the Devil, Oh Boy!, Deep River Blues, I Don’t Live In A Dream*, Tell Me Mama Tell Me Right*, Sunday Sound**, Appaloosa**, Blackbird***, Jack Straw***, I Am A Pilgrim, Tennessee Jed
SET II: Goin’ To Acapulco, Big Boss Man, Nobody’s Fault But Mine, Poor Elijah, Dear Prudence, China Cat Sunflower> I Know You Rider
ENCORE: Uncle John’s Band
*Jackie Greene Solo
**Chris Robinson Solo
***Bob Weir Solo
This show had a laid back vibe and a relaxed delivery that demonstrated Bobby’s softer side. If Further is a high octane burn through all things Grateful Dead, then this project is the dancing bear in the rocking chair. After a quick three-song slash that included the classic “Friend of the Devil” the band broke up for each member to take a turn solo. Jackie Greene was up first with a pair of originals starting with his take on modern realism “I Don’t Live In A Dream” and his star-crossed love song “Tell Me Mama Tell Me Right.” Jackie is an amazing protégée of Dead music, but it’s awesome to see him singing in his own voice.
Chris Robinson was next to the stage with a pair of self-penned tunes. “Sunday Sound” and “Appaloosa” which both felt appropriate for a Sunday in the mountains. Finally it was Bobby’s turn and his two unaccompanied songs were a distinct highlight from the entire show. Starting with a beautiful rendition of The Beatles “Blackbird” I absolutely got chills from this performance. He opted for an amazing “Jack Straw,” a song the may have lent itself to the dynamic between the three, but Bobby simply nailed it for the crowd at Mishawaka. They closed out the first set with a stellar “Tennessee Jed,” which really got the crowd pumped for the remainder of the show.
The second set began with a cover of Dylan’s “Goin’ To Acapulco.” They have such a great body of acoustic work to pull from so it was nice to see a Dylan tune in the mix. “Big Boss Man” was a powerful version and really showed how amazing these three musicians really are together. I have to say seeing Bobby with both Jackie Greene and Chris Robinson in such a small venue I was almost star struck, which is a rare occurrence for me. “Nobody’s Fault” a traditional gospel tune made famous by Led Zeppelin was another great choice from the band. This was a broken down version that was fun to hear. They ripped up a solid “Poor Elijah” before going into yet another Beatles’ cover with “Dear Prudence.” At this point I was blown away, but they closed out their second set with a quality “China Cat” “Rider.” They encored with another Dead deep cut with “Uncle John’s Band.” The entire show was everything you could want from this lineup. Wonderful Dead tunes mixed with some rare covers made my second night with Weir Robinson Greene amazing. This night at The Mish was enough to fill anyone’s hear with goodness.
Note: The Mishawaka is currently in danger from the High Point Fire. Please send your positive thoughts in their direction. You can also contact the Red Cross to volunteer or to send donations.