Words by: Zachary Forschler | Images by: Brian Spady
Umphrey’s McGee :: UMBowl II :: 04.02.11 :: Park West :: Chicago, IL
Q1: Quarter One of the UMBowl II was selected by fans texting in what they wanted to hear from options put up on AV Screen. One of the highlights from Quarter One was a cover of Chromeo’s “Bonafide Lovin” into “Daftpunk Esque Jam.” This brought the atmosphere through the roof with an up-tempo dance feel, especially when Joel Cummins took over on the synthesizers during “Daftpunk Esque Jam.” The quarter ended with Umphrey’s finishing off the “All In Time” that was started at last year’s UMBowl.
|UMBowl II by Brian Spady|
Q2: Quarter Two was an S2 format, where the fans sent ideas in the form of text messages and the band showed off the improv skills that have brought Umphrey’s to the top of the jam scene. The set got started off with “Bring the Funk,” which Ryan Stasik started off by laying down a funky, smooth bass line with the drums quietly accompanying him, until the guitars and keys stormed in and the funk party got moving. Other highlights included “Waful Meets Disco Ball,” which allowed the Umphrey’s fans to break out their John Travolta Saturday Night Fever moves. The second quarter also had some head-banging material, “Tool Meets Umphrey’s” and “Heavy Metal Dance Party,” which kept the prog fans amped.
Q3: Quarter Three featured many different combinations of members. Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger did a duo version of Led Zepplin’s “Going To California” featuring Jake on acoustic guitar and Brendan on mandolin. Cinninger, Andy Farag and Stasick also performed later with Jake on electric guitar, Ryan on bass and Andy on percussion for Marvin Gaye’s “Heard It Through The Grapevine.” Quarter Three also had a rare cover of Spinal Tap’s “Big Bottom” featuring Brendan, Ryan, Jake and Andy all on bass with Joel on Keytar and Kris Myers on drums. The set highlight was a guest appearance by Mike Mirro, original drummer for Umphrey’s McGee, with the original group of Brendan, Ryan, Andy, Joel and Mike playing an Umphrey’s classic, “Much Obliged.”
Q4: Quarter Four was a balloted set voted on by the fans via email a week before the show. The highlights were in the covers. Walter Murphy’s “A Fifth of Beethoven” got the covers kicked off into a high energy disco-funk dance. This song is a favorite and has become a rarity in recent years. Umphrey’s also debuted Rush’s “Tom Sawyer,” which was highly anticipated and kept the fans’ fists pumping as they danced. To end UMBowl II, Umphrey’s played their mash-up of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” with Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” that left fans with smiles on their faces as they headed home.
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