Umphrey’s McGee Debuts Perpetual Groove Cover With Brock Butler In Athens

The Umphrey’s McGee, Widespread Panic and Perpetual Groove worlds collided at the Georgia Theatre last Friday.

By Scott Bernstein Dec 6, 2023 12:40 pm PST

Umphrey’s McGee featuring Widespread Panic drummer Duane Trucks brought out Perpetual Groove‘s Brock Butler for a two-song guest appearance last Friday, December 1 at the Georgia Theatre in Athens, Georgia. Butler’s time on stage during the sextet’s second night of a three-show run at the venue included UM’s first-ever performance of PGroove’s “Life” as a lead-in to “Glory.”

Duane Trucks spent the entire run behind the kit as Umphrey’s McGee drummer Kris Myers continues to recuperate from rotator cuff repair surgery he underwent in August. Trucks is among a series of drummers UM recruited to fill in for Myers over the past five months that also included Jason Bonham, Goose’s Ben Atkind, Jeremy Salken of Big Gigantic and Lotus’ Mike Greenfield. Kris Myers is expected back in 2024 after Atkind, lespecial’s Rory Dolan and Mike Portnoy trade drum duties over the course of the band’s upcoming hometown 2023 New Year’s Run in Chicago.

Umphrey’s McGee dug deep into their repertoire during last weekend’s visit to Athens, Georgia. Opening night on Thursday, November 30 featured the band’s first cover of Pink Floyd’s “Fearless” since March 13, 2016. Then, on Friday, UM dusted off “Sister Christian,” a Night Ranger song last played on November 18, 2005. Saturday's finale saw the group break out their medley of Michael Jackson’s “The Girl Is Mine” and Jane’s Addiction’s “Jane Says,” which had been shelved for nearly a decade. The last show of the run also included the UM premiere of Widespread Panic classic “Pleas.”

Former Athens resident Brock Butler was introduced as “our special buddy” by UM guitarist Jake Cinninger. Keyboardist Joel Cummins noted Umphrey’s McGee and Perpetual Groove first joined forces at the Georgia Theatre in “either 2001 or 2002” and added “it’s been a long time.”

Butler and Umphrey’s McGee’s collaboration began with “Life,” a Perpetual Groove original released on the band’s 2007 album, All This Everything. “Life” bled into a “Glory” that saw Jake and Brock exchange riffs to complete the pairing of instrumentals.

Another instrumental followed sans Butler as Umphrey’s delivered staple “The Triple Wide” before closing Friday’s second set with their first “Sister Christian” in a whopping 1,745 shows. The six-piece returned to the stage to get the encore underway with a “Den” that included an “I Was Made For Loving You” jam on the same night KISS played the final show of their farewell tour. UM tacked on a cover of David Bowie’s “Fame” to end the evening.

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Official Audio (via nugs.net)

Setlist (via All Things Umphreys)

Set One: Wife Soup[1], Domino Theory[1], Got Your Milk (Right Here)[1] > Nemo[1] > We’re Going to War[1] > Resolution[1] > Nemo[1], In The Kitchen[1]

Set Two: 1348[1] > Staircase[1] > Day Nurse[1] > 1348[1], Life[2]-> Glory[3], The Triple Wide[1], Sister Christian[1]

Encore: Den[4], Fame[1]

  • [1] with Duane Trucks on drums
  • [2] debut, Perpetual Groove; with Duane Trucks on drums and Brock Butler on guitar
  • [3] with Duane Trucks on drums and Brock Butler on guitar
  • [4] with Duane Trucks on drums; with I Was Made for Lovin’ You (Kiss) jam and quote

Show Notes:
entire show without Kris
last Sister Christian 2005-11-18 (1,745 shows)

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