Umphrey’s McGee NYE in Chicago


Umphrey's McGee
"4 STARS... [Live at the Murat] is a diligently constructed experience, combining songs and medleys... that proves Umphrey's McGee always have destination on their minds, even when they fly free." -Rolling Stone

Chicago's own Umphrey's McGee will blow out the year's end with three nights at the beautiful Aragon Ballroom. The arrival of 2008 marks Umphrey's ten year anniversary. Very special musical guests kick off the first two shows, with reggae legends The Wailers opening on December 29 and fusion rock outfits Tortoise on-board for December 30. On New Year's Eve, Umphrey's McGee officially celebrates its 10th anniversary by hosting a Black and White Ball, Umphrey's style. The band will roll out the red carpet and pop plenty of champagne corks; a special Ten Year Anniversary Video Tribute will open the show.

Show details are as follows:

Saturday, December 29 @ 6:00 p.m. (doors @ 5:00 p.m.)
with very special guests The Wailers

Tickets: $32.50 / All Ages

Sunday, December 30 @ 7:00 p.m. (Doors @ 6:00 p.m.)
with very special guests Tortoise

Tickets $32.50 / 18 and over

Monday, December 31 @ 8:00 p.m. (Doors @ 6:00 p.m.)
New Year's Eve Black and White Ball
A very special video tribute to the first ten years of Umphrey's McGee will open the show

Tickets $ $65.00 / 18 and over

The Aragon Ballroom
1106 West Lawrence Avenue and 4800 North, Chicago
Tickets available at Ticketmaster outlets and and at the Vic Theatre Box Office (3145 North Sheffield, Chicago)

The ascension continues for Chicago's Umphrey's McGee, not only in terms of their commercial success but in creative accomplishment and instrumental achievement as well. Their performance on Live at the Murat (SCI Fidelity), their first official live release, is as impressive as anything they've recorded to date, with the power and finesse, the yin and the yang, that have come to characterize their by-now classic material.

Throughout the show, UM's invention brings the progressive instrumental chops of Zappa and the stylistic savvy of Steely Dan. It is innovative without being indulgent, exhilarating without losing control, and there are plenty of improv passages that keep the band and their fans off-balance. Clearly, logging 120 gigs a year, "live" is where UM lives.

The current list of confirmed tour dates is as follows:
11.15 Amos' South End Charlotte, NC
11.16 City Hall Nashville, TN
11.17 Work Play Soundstage Birmingham, AL
11.18 Bear Creek Music Festival Quincy, FL
11.29 Orbit Room Grand Rapids, MI
11.30 Lifestyle Communities Pavilion Columbus, OH
12.01 Borders Ann Arbor, MI
12.01 Michigan Theatre Ann Arbor, MI
12.13-17 Caribbean Holidaze Runaway Jamaica
12.29-31 The Aragon Ballroom Chicago, IL
12.16-18 Jam in the Dam Amsterdam, Netherlands

[Published on: 11/14/07]

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Tehsay starstarstarstarstar Wed 11/14/2007 02:12PM
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haha is this breaking news or something? Ive had my tix for 2-3 weeks and have been waiting for this since last new years. The 31st this year looks to be simplay amazing. Their 10 yr anniversary on nye. Can it get any better?

jasonjibboo24 Wed 11/14/2007 02:28PM
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trini. starstarstarstarstar Wed 11/14/2007 02:30PM
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Black and white ball, Umphrey's style. That's awesome.

HOPEFULPHAN starstarstarstarstar Wed 11/14/2007 02:47PM
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i love um but 65 bucks? seems a bit much.

moejoerisin Wed 11/14/2007 02:59PM
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i mean, i like lotus, kind of. but really? better than umphrey's? to quote jesus quintana: laughable, man.

KPLMMJ Wed 11/14/2007 03:04PM
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65 seems like a lot but on New Years its often not the fault of the band. Smaller theaters like the Aragon charge the band MUCH more to rent on New Years...that's where the price hike comes from on many New Years shows. But bands always bring it on New Years and play longer so its worth it if you like em enough...I'll be in the Atl at Panic, but this would be a good time too.

Teabagger Wed 11/14/2007 03:05PM
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$65 seems a bit much to me too. Especially at the Aragon. The sound is horrible there. Please find a new place to play.

insignia starstarstarstarstar Wed 11/14/2007 03:49PM
Show -6 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
gmoo Wed 11/14/2007 04:06PM
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Is this a lotus thread?

briank67 Wed 11/14/2007 04:17PM
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i agree w/the people saying that dec31 show is too expensive. i think my plan's gonna be: get to the 29th show w/the wailers, then walk right across the street to the kinetic playground and keep the groove going w/lotus. i'll prolly skip the 30th and 31st shows, but i'll hopefully be at the kinetic again on the 31st for future rock, eliot lipp, and orchard lounge. and don't forget, rusted root's playing a show that week too....

Tehsay Wed 11/14/2007 05:18PM
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its always been 65$ for at least the past 3 years. And its not at all too expensive considering its 3 sets and a party taboot. whoever said lotus is BETTER than umphreys seriously needs their head examined too. Lotus is good yes, but hahah no way are they better. That isnt even debatable.

breadloaf starstarstar Wed 11/14/2007 05:20PM
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Teabagger, I could not agree with you more about the sound at the Aragon. I have spent decades going to shows at venues all over the country, and the Aragon truly ranks among the very worst. It is a giant concrete bunker with no textural surfaces to soften the sound. I am amazed that bands of advanced musicians agree to play there. They must lay out one hell of a backstage buffet, eh?

moeMan1 starstarstarstarstar Wed 11/14/2007 06:37PM
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Aragon sound does suck, but UM has the unbelievably talented sound caresser Kevin Browning. He has some how figured out how to make that room sound great for the past few NYE's and i expect he will do it again this year.

okalrightic starstarstarstarstar Wed 11/14/2007 07:10PM
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agreed, lotus is a sick band with pretty nasty chops but they don't touch umph at all. I can't fuckin wait for these shows.

cuttyfives Wed 11/14/2007 08:11PM
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dudeski3 Wed 11/14/2007 09:18PM
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The greatest three days of the year. See you guys there!

hoodphan6 Wed 11/14/2007 11:51PM
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UM and Lotus are completely differnet bands with completely different sounds. Why are they getting compared anyway. They are both amazing and are going to have one hell of a NYE party! and remember, "If you had fun, you won"

Zapzapa Thu 11/15/2007 03:55AM
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Tortoise is the shit in my hubble opinion they are better then UM but thats just what I think.

....David Byrne, one of the most successful and well-respected music producers of all time, once said "Lyrics are a trick to get people to listen to music for longer than they normally would." Words are for people who can't understand the music.

Zapzapa Thu 11/15/2007 03:56AM
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hands down STS9 NYe is the place to be, also my humble opinion

Poly420 starstarstar Thu 11/15/2007 07:25AM
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$65 does seem kind of steep, Panic only charges 50 for their nye show

delaneyira starstarstarstarstar Thu 11/15/2007 07:57AM
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Stop being a bunch of scrubs. Scrape the bread together and make it happen, these shows are going to be epic as all um shows ussually are. But this show is going to be so much more. Get a god damned job you losers. All the production that is going to go into these shows, its well worth the 3x price. I could understand the criticism if it were $100+, but not when its only 65$ for a new years eve show thats 3 sets and a huge audio/visual production. So, lets do the math. A regular show is between 20$ and 30$depending on where and what venue you see them at. You get 2 sets tops. This is going to be 3 sets, on NYE where rent is probably double or triple and the stage set has way more props, lighting(last year they had pink floyds lasers and way more special lights then thier tour had) and they rent better equipment for these special shows too(grand piano for joel, bigger more expensive amps for the boys up front and most likely better recording equipment) Throw in half a dozen or more special guests and ill have to say its a bargain... Im not going to hate on all the other bands that people mention in this thread but what i will say to them is, can thier bands play nothing too fancy?, bridgeless?, zappa covers? They can try but its not likely that it would sound as clean and powerful as UM. I mention the covers that um does because of the wide range of styles that they have chosen. Just a few people they have covered, led zeppelin, stevie ray vaughan, hendrix, clapton, pink floyd, flock of seaguls(langerado 2006 i beleive) rush(yyz no less) Beatles, and most impressive of all by far, Frank Zappa. Alright bitches, enough out of me... Music is the best - Frank Zappa...

moejoerisin Thu 11/15/2007 08:04AM
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hoodphan, you beat me to it. i don't know how you can say lotus 'owns' umphrey's. first of all their totally different bands. umphrey's is a prog-based improv rock band and lotus is a jam trance band. umphrey's can blend metal, psychedelia, blues, reggae, funk and electronic, even hip-hop and industrial elements into one well-written song with intriguing lyrics and flawless changes. lotus sounds cool, but after an hour of what sounds like sound tribe on an off night, i'm usually all set. umphrey's music, on the other hand, stays intrepid. they rip out many different styles and are constantly changing keys and mixing meters, experimenting with an array of moods and atmospheres. also, if we're talking covers, i'd like to see lotus try to cover steely dan, led zeppelin and the talking heads in one set. i'm not trying to diss them because i think lotus is decent. i just think you should use your brain before posting some shit like lotus 'owns' umphrey's, because they certainly do not.

GB3K-Poops starstarstarstarstar Thu 11/15/2007 09:02AM
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all you guys need to get a life...lotus owns umphrey's?? you guys must be on drugs if you think that. Don't get me wrong lotus is a very talented band and they play some heady music but how can you compare a band that plays prog rock, jazz, electronica, and even some metal, you can't compare that to a mainly electronica band. Umph is an unreal band that will mix it up every night! I'll c ya'll all 3 nights!!!

theguykeator Thu 11/15/2007 09:20AM
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The Aragon Blows ASS!! Ive gotten down to the last two NYE runs, UM is the shit but I have had enough with the Aragon Ballroom. Sound is bad, no re-entry, No smoking, Please play somewhere else in the midwest next year. Id even pay $65, shit, I did the last two years, but please NO MORE ARAGON!!

theguykeator Thu 11/15/2007 09:27AM
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Also, Make all the nights 18+ or even 21+ theres to many high school kids passed out all around the venue. It is also to hot in that place, Oh and a poster is only $60, no problem. The place is tainted.

gmoo Thu 11/15/2007 09:46AM
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No smoking in the Aragon... You are kidding right?

1048 star Thu 11/15/2007 10:08AM
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HA so much for going to umphrey's on New Years. No way in hell I'm dishing out $65 to see a fucking movie open up for umphreys. Thats the dumbest shit I've ever heard, I would much rather see an opening band.

billfnord Thu 11/15/2007 11:50AM
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I'm not a big UM fan- but being from Chicago- Whether you love them or hate them- don't go to the Aragon. It IS THE WORST VENUE IN THE COUNTRY- if not the WHOLE WORLD!! (I'm honestly not sure I'm exagerating) Jesus Jumping Christ and his back-up band would sound like crap at the Aragon. I cannot count how many fantastic shows I've seen there that have ended up ruined because I prefer my sound to be audible. If you want to know what the sound is like there- go to any good venue- and put a bucket on your head. I've actually stood right in front of the speakers 3 feet from the stage and the sound still came across echoey and muddled. TEAR DOWN THE ARAGON and replace it with a new venue!!

cuttyfives Thu 11/15/2007 12:17PM
Show -4 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!
Tehsay Thu 11/15/2007 12:49PM
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^Haha what do you go to shows to get laid or something? Get outta here clown.

cuttyfives Thu 11/15/2007 02:23PM
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Ston starstarstarstarstar Thu 11/15/2007 04:09PM
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Last UM NYE I was at was 2004 and it was epic. 4 1/2 hours I believe. The coolest part was stading next to Mini Kiss at the bar. YEEEAHHH!!! Still waiting on NYE plans, but this is definitely pulling me in one direction.

ryan621 Thu 11/15/2007 04:29PM
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The Aragon's corrupt, the head of security is an ex-chicago police department officer that got fired for roughing up polish immigrants. He likes to take people into his little dungeon and harass them for hours on end for no apparent reason. Watch out if you go...UM rules Lotus' face!

The Glick Thu 11/15/2007 04:47PM
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The Glick

I'd watch them mime the show, using air guitars if they were here in San Francisco.

gone_phishin_4_cheese Thu 11/15/2007 11:20PM
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never will i pay 65 dollars to see this band bottom line.

kirkbrew Fri 11/16/2007 07:13AM
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Folks - If you go, some advice (based on recent Aragon experiences).

First - get there early. For Ween, they shook everyone down very hard. Took about 45 minutes to get in and we missed a few songs.

Second – Yep – sound sucks. Bad. Best to get in front of the sound board. Actually, half way between it and the stage. Also, if you stand straight back under the arches, it is OK. The arches dampen out some of the boomieness and reberb from above your head. I have heard that the balcony is OK, but never been up there.

Third - For GREAT beer, try the Hopleafe (Clark and Foster). Great food too. Probably one of the best bars I have ever been to.

j-bizzle starstarstarstarstar Fri 11/16/2007 07:52AM
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hate hate hate.... umphs melts face - see ya there.

hnkscrpio Fri 11/16/2007 09:41AM
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Tortoise is amazing, they will melt minds, faces, and souls. I'll totally go the 30th. Umphrey's is good too, just not all the hate that some of their fans cause in the Jambase scene. Am I the only one that is sick and tired of every post turning into an argument that sounds like "My band is better than your band"?

Designagroove Fri 11/16/2007 10:44AM
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whats up with all the complaing if you dont like umph why are you reading this article. If you are any kind of umph fan 65 bucks is nothin for a show like this, been there the past two years and cant think of any place id rather be for the new year. Personally i dont think the aragon sounds that bad. cant wait to see all you umpheaks.

j-bizzle starstarstarstarstar Fri 11/16/2007 11:44AM
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kirkbrew - Hopleafe is the missle; great bar, decent food, best beer selection(in my opinion) in the city. The upstairs is great for people watching..... damn, i may just have to go there for a pint after work.

Smittea Fri 11/16/2007 12:05PM
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Wow!!! Their beer menu (draft & bottled) IS awesome. You folks are extremely lucky to have a place like this one in your neighborhood. Cheers!

kirkbrew Fri 11/16/2007 03:29PM
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J-bizzle - Pint after work? So jealous. The other good beer selection is the Map Room (north of Wicker Park). Tend to like the Hopleafe better.

Being out in the 'burbs, it is a special day when we can make it there. Best we got for this evening is a Beatles cover band and a choice between Fat Tire and Goose Harvest Ale - which does not suck at all.

moejoerisin Fri 11/16/2007 03:40PM
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^(in homer simpsonesque mumble) mmmm fat tiiirrre...

j-bizzle starstarstarstarstar Fri 11/16/2007 07:32PM
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definitely went there - had the mussels for 2 and about 7 scrimshaw ales. now to see jackstraw at the birdsnest; have a great night all

phreak89 Fri 11/16/2007 09:43PM
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i have no fucking idea how this turned to a thread on beer, but after seeing Fat Tire, growing up in Colorado, i must say all New Belgum brews are the shit and Fat Tire tops any other ale out there.

shonuff starstarstarstar Sat 11/17/2007 07:25AM
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billfnord^ I have to actually disagree with you on the worst venue, because I actually worked at it. It's had a few names...The World, The Tweeter Center, and Midwest Bank of America. This place is basically an industrial complex with a whole bunch of support beams and shit. If you've been there, then you know what I'm talking about. I'm going to try like hell to get to the 12/30 show. When it comes to beer, i'm a pretty big advocate of Wynchwood's Fiddler's Elbow. Cheers

billfnord Mon 11/19/2007 11:08AM
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Shonuff- fairnuff. I'm gonna agree with you- when it comes to outdoor- its hard to get worse than the World Tweeter Center of Concrete. But for indoor- gotta stick with the Aragon. (At least when it comes to Med./small sized places. If you are a band playing in Chicago and you can sell out the Aragon- do the UIC Pavillion where Phish had many a wonderful moment (but for the love of God avoid the old Rosemont Horizon) and if you cannot- downsize to the Riv or Park West or somewhere.

WSPallday Mon 11/19/2007 05:22PM
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Over 70 dollars for NYE. I'm going on the 30th but the first time I saw umphrey's it was less than 15 dollars. Now if you can't afford it and are going to be in the Chicago area I recommend seeing Future Rock on NYE, that's where i'll be.

happydestiny Mon 11/26/2007 12:14PM
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fat tire is always well, too flat. Try Stone IPA

TINAfarina starstarstar Mon 11/26/2007 10:38PM
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FIRST! YES you can smoke in the aragon. i've been there the past two years for UM NYE and once for a cheese show, all three times there has been smoking. SECOND! $65 is not expensive for a New Years Eve show with Umph. thay play for like 5 hours! they have crazy, insane, danker than dank lasers and, yeah the acoustics of the ballroom may not be the best but c'mon people, UMPH knows how to do things. THIRD!the aragon flippin rocks! the place looks like a castle and there is a bar in the dudes bathroom. the staff is actually real friendly, they have a coat check that is real cheap (2-3 bucks) and for the past two years the place has just had this buzz about it, when we all count down to midnight and the balloons fall it is amazing. IF YOU DONT HAVE NEW YEARS EVE PLANS THEN YOU NEED TO MAKE THEM RIGHT NOW. 1106 W LAWRENCE AVE, CHICAGO IL 60611 IS WHERE YOU WANNA BE. SEE YOU SOON ALL MY FELLOW UMPHREAKS...

peace love n light

TINAfarina Mon 11/26/2007 10:48PM
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TINAfarina it is an 18+ show which threads out the young, angry, and unwanted :)