Umphrey’s McGee Celebrates Brendan Bayliss’ Birthday In Indianapolis & Welcomes Taylor Hicks In Birmingham
South Bend, Indiana-birthed sextet Umphrey’s McGee returned to Indiana on Saturday night to celebrate guitarist Brendan Bayliss’ 42nd birthday in Indianapolis. The band then played a show featuring a guest spot from American Idol winner Taylor Hicks in Birmingham, Alabama on Sunday.
Umphrey’s Saturday night performance at Farm Bureau Insurance Lawn At White River Park in Indianapolis began with “The Silent Type” off it’s not us as fans sang “Happy Birthday To You” towards Bayliss. A second dose of the band’s first 2018 studio album followed with “Half Delayed.” Next came a run of instrumental “The Fussy Dutchman,” a slightly extended “Bad Friday” and the Brendan-sung ballad “You & You Alone.” From there, UM lit into a hard-hitting and adventurous “Puppet String.”
The six-piece band went on to perform the Abbey Road suite of “Mean Mr. Mustard” > “Polythene Pam” > “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window.” Both “Mean Mr. Mustard” and “Polythene Pam” were last played on April 26, 2013 – a span of 508 shows. Bassist Ryan Stasik then started up “Wappy Sprayberry” as UM provided a dance party for fans before wrapping up the set by concluding “Puppet String.”
When Umphrey’s returned for the second set it appeared they would open with “Divisions.” Brendan’s band mates had other plans as they instead started up a cover of the Beatles’ “Birthday.” Brendan put down his guitar and danced with his kids, who came on-stage, as the rest of the group worked through the first UM cover of “Birthday” since April 18, 2009. The birthday boy applauded his band mates on the surprise and dedicated “Divisions” to “anybody who has anything to do with South Bend.” After one more false start and a bit of a jazzy jam, UM actually played “Divisions.”
The birthday celebration continued with “Make It Right” and an instrumental “Bright Lights, Big City.” A little later in the evening, Bayliss introduced a cover of Bob Marley’s “Lively Up Yourself” by telling the crowd, “I got to admit it … I turned 42 today, so I realized I spent half my life in this band doing this.” He went on to conclude, “If you would have told me 21 years ago I’d be standing right here doing this, I’d say sign me up!” He thanked his friends and family as well as the audience, who again serenaded Brendan with “Happy Birthday To You.” Umphrey’s hadn’t performed “Lively Up Yourself” in 139 shows. The group ended the set with “Den” and the final part of “Divisions” along with an “All In Time” encore.
Last night, UM concluded a run of four shows with a performance at Avondale Brewing Company in Birmingham. The band delivered a pair of career-spanning sets that focused on originals with one exception. Taylor Hicks emerged at the end of the opening stanza to add harmonica and vocals to the UM debut of Dobie Grey’s 1973 hit “Drift Away.” Hicks had previously sat-in with the sextet on April 18, 2015 in Austin and during Umphrey’s last visit to Avondale Brewing Company on July 7, 2016. The Alabama native performed “Can’t You See” by The Marshall Tucker Band with Umphrey’s McGee at each of those shows.
Other highlights from Umphrey’s Sunday night show in Birmingham included improv-heavy versions of “Draconian,” “Ringo,” “2×2” and “Bridgeless” as well as the always welcome “Cemetery Walk”/”Cemetary Walk II” pairing. The band ended the night by working the old-school instrumental “Kimble” into the conclusion of “Bridgeless.” Next up for UM is a performance in Orlando on Thursday night.
Watch a clip of “Drift Away” shared by Home Team Photography:
Setlists (via All Things Umphreys)
Saturday, August 11
Set One: The Silent Type, Half Delayed > The Fussy Dutchman > Bad Friday, You & You Alone, Puppet String > Mean Mr. Mustard > Polythene Pam > She Came In Through The Bathroom Window, Wappy Sprayberry > Puppet String
Set Two: Birthday, Divisions > Make It Right, Bright Lights, Big City > Maybe Someday, Hurt Bird Bath, Lively Up Yourself, Den -> Divisions
Encore: All In Time
-  with Third Stone from the Sun (Jimi Hendrix) teases
-  instrumental version
-  with One (Metallica) teases
- with Divisions fakeout before Birthday
- with Divisions fakeout and 10th Grade tease before Divisions
- last Mean Mr. Mustard 04.26.2013 (508 shows)
- last Mean Polythene Pam 04.26.2013 (508 shows)
- last Birthday 04.18.2009 (969 shows)
Sunday, August 12
Set One: August, Day Nurse > The Linear, Mantis > Draconian, Forks, Drift Away
Set Two: Ringo, Cemetery Walk > Cemetery Walk II, 2×2, Bridgeless > Seasons > Mantis
Encore: Kimble > Bridgeless
 debut, Dobie Gray; with Taylor Hicks