Umphrey's Celebrates Label With Bust Outs & Debuts

Last night Umphrey's McGee celebrated the launch of their Nothing Too Fancy Music label at Brooklyn Bowl in NYC. Those purchasing tickets to the intimate affair were able to listen to the band's new album, Similar Skin, which is due on June 10, partake in Blue Ribbon food, enjoy an open bar, help determine the evening's setlist and more. Attendees had a hand in choosing what songs UM would play using a ballot distributed to ticketholders a few weeks back.

Umphrey's opened the show by working the "Depth Charge" instrumental intro into just the third "Robot World" of the year. The next rarity was "Passing," which had only been performed twice in the last 170+ shows. From there, the band debuted a "Raw Stewage" segment which went un-played during Saturday night's UMBowl V. "Proverbial" combined the "Jimmy Stewart" improvs that followed "All In Time" on February 25, 2010 and "Nemo" on July 26, 2007. "Bad Friday" led into another huge bust out - a cover of Pink Floyd's "Fearless": last played a whopping 574 shows ago on April 5, 2009. Fittingly, "Nothing Too Fancy," the song the band's label is named after, closed out the setwith the debut of the title track from Similar Skin in the middle. In typical Umphrey's fashion, the writing process for "Similar Skin" involved combining past "Jimmy Stewart" improvisations with new sections.

The second set featured more of the same as Umphrey's opened the closing stanza with a performance of "Ringo" backwards. Dubbed "Ognir," the band worked through the sections of the original in reverse order. "Ognir" had only been performed once in the past - at a "Taper's Appreciation Show" way back in 2004. Both "Wappy Sprayberry" and "Utopian Fir" contained meaty jams as did the "Wizard Burial Ground" that ended the set. These four songs, along with a rare cover of "All Night Long" by Lionel Richie, made up the entire, improv-heavy second set. Umphrey's had more treats in store for the encore as they dusted off Poison's "Unskinny Bop" for the first time since 2003, an unbelievable 1,357 shows and also covered Danzig's "Mother" for just the fifth time ever. The UM classic "Divisions" brought the evening to a close.

Here's Andrew Blackstein's photos from the event:

Set 1: Depth Charge > Robot World[1], Passing, Proverbial[2], Bad Friday, Fearless, Nothing Too Fancy > Similar Skin[3] > Nothing Too Fancy

Set 2: Ringo[4], Wappy Sprayberry > Utopian Fir[5] > All Night Long[5], Wizard Burial Ground

Encore: Unskinny Bop[6] > Mother, Divisions

[1] "Jimmy Stewart" with lyrics
[2] debut, original; 02.25.2010 All In Time > 07.26.2007 Nemo
[3] debut, original
[4] "ogniR," the band played the song in reverse
[5] with Jake on percussion
[6] unfinished

[Setlist via All Things Umphrey's]

[Published on: 5/5/14]

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