Umphrey’s McGee, a progressive jam-band based out of Chicago, performed at the Tabernacle on Feb. 6. The venue seemed to be lacking in attendance at first while opening act Dubconcious was performing. Slowly, the Tabernacle was becoming a sardine can of a venue as Umphrey’s McGee was inching to performance. The crowd would burst into screams when slight movements on stage were seen, and Umphrey’s McGee did not tease for a long time.
The show created musical euphoria for all in attendance, with rock, reggae, metal, funk, soul, hardcore and classic rock sounds incorporated throughout the show. With all these genres meshed together, they were able to create a unique sound that few jam-bands are able to produce. With all the musical influences, they were more apt to jam than sing, although lyrics still accompany most of their songs.
The band’s members are the epitome of musicians, as they never have the same show twice. With their originality, there’s no need to worry about pirated music or show taping. Umphrey’s McGee continuously publishes music on their podcast to encourage and promote their tour. The show was nothing short of their promotion, as a fresh and unique sound.
The band formed back at the University of Notre Dame in 1997 with guitarist and vocalist Brendan Bayliss, bassist Ryan Stasik and keyboardist Joel Cummins, who still remain with added drums, percussion and guitar. The band was the result of the combination of two bands: Tashi Station and Stomper Bob which played both original and cover songs of artists including Guns N’ Roses, Vince Guaraldi ( theme) and others.
Current guitarist Jake Cinninger was added to the band in Sept. 2000. He, with a harder rock background, added a new dimension to Umphrey’s McGee sound. The following year, the band began to create more unique sounds as they coalesced into an improvisational band.
In July 2004, after percussionist Andy Farag and drummer Kris Myers were added to the roster, the band released their first national EP, . It was recognized by Rolling Stone Magazine to “have become odds-on favorites in the next-Phish sweepstakes.”
Overall, the concert was very successful, even for the popular Umphrey’s. This is a highly recommended band for anyone interested in discovering base-centerd jam-band music or an appreciation towards what real musicians are.