Umphrey’s McGee Busts Out Pearl Jam Cover & Welcomes Trevor Steer In San Diego

By Scott Bernstein Mar 26, 2018 8:03 am PDT

Umphrey’s McGee concluded an eventful run down the coast of California with a Sunday night performance at The Observatory North Park in San Diego. After welcoming “Viv Savage” of Spinal Tap on Friday in Oakland and digging deep in Los Angeles, the band dusted off a Pearl Jam cover and brought out a member of openers Organ Freeman as part of Sunday night’s concert.

The six-piece’s career-spanning show began with a run of “Attachments,” “Tribute To The Spinal Shaft” and “Domino Theory.” Next up was one of two songs played in San Diego off the recently released it’s not us, “Forks.” Umphrey’s then uncorked “Professor Wormbog” before dedicating “The Haunt” to a couple that had been front row at each show of the run. “The Haunt” was one of two bust outs in a row as the original was last played back on March 31, 2017. Umphrey’s segued from “The Haunt” into their first cover of Pearl Jam’s “Release” since November 1, 2014. The sextet then went back to it’s not us to close the set with “Looks.”

Umphrey’s opened Sunday’s second set with a lengthy “In The Kitchen” that saw them move between pretty major-key jams and dance-friendly grooves. The band continued to focus on improv with a “Stinko’s Ascension” that extended past the 15-minute mark. Next up was UM’s first cover of “Africa” by Toto of 2018. The song was played in response to a fan named Emily wearing a “Toto Sucks” t-shirt. Umphrey’s concluded the frame with old school favorites “All In Time,” “Much Obliged” and “Utopian Fir.”

Los Angeles trio Organ Freeman served as support during the West Coast run and Trevor Steer emerged during “All In Time” to jam with UM. Bassist Ryan Stasik steered the “All In Time” improv, which saw Steer show off his skills on Rhodes while Umphrey’s Joel Cummins provided powerful organ riffs. Umphrey’s McGee wasn’t done digging into their huge repertoire, as they dusted off a cover of Led Zeppelin’s “The Song Remains The Same” for its initial play of 2018 and then finished “All In Time” for the evening’s encore.

Watch UM perform “Release” via fan-shot footage from Greg Roberts:


Set One: Attachments, Tribute To The Spinal Shaft > Domino Theory, Forks, Professor Wormbog, The Haunt > Release, Looks

Set Two: In The Kitchen, Stinko’s Ascension, Africa, All in Time* > Much Obliged, Utopian Fir

Encore: The Song Remains The Same > All in Time

* – w/ Trevor Steer

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