Umphrey’s McGee Debuts Talking Heads Cover At Red Rocks

Listen to the band perform “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)” for the first time.

By Andy Kahn Jun 19, 2021 9:45 am PDT

Umphrey’s McGee debuted a cover of Talking Heads’ “This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)” on Friday night at Red Rocks outside Denver. The performance was the opening night of the band’s three-show run at the scenic outdoor venue.

“JaJunk” was selected to open the first set and soon led to the evening’s first lengthy jam that incorporated elements of The Rolling Stones’ “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking.” Guitarist Brendan Bayliss took the lead on “Roulette,” while guitarist Jake Cinninger followed by steering the group through “Booth Love” and a subsequent groove-oriented jam. Next, the band worked through the multifaceted “Plunger,” which transitioned into “Cemetery Walk.”

The aggressive instrumental “Wizard Bury Ground” was preceded by Bayliss having the audience give a “special” recognition to a longtime fan attending his 500th Umphrey’s show. UM stayed on the heavy side by segueing into “Noopener,” before easing up a bit with “Attachments.” The set ended with a return to finish “Wizard Burial Ground.”

Set two began with “Restrung,” the recently released single that’s a reworked version of “Unsung Hero.” The second half continued with “The Silent Type” and “Ocean Billy,” each delivering substantial improvisational sequences. The “Ocean Billy” jam set up the debut of “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody),” which drew cheers from the crowd at both its start and conclusion. The cover debut was trailed by “Day Nurse” as drummer Kris Myers and percussionist Andy Farag were given the spotlight ahead of a return to complete “Ocean Billy.”

“Miami Virtue” led to another dose of jamming and a transition into “Den.” Cinninger introduced keyboardist Joel Cummins, bassist Ryan Stasik and the others on stage at Red Rocks, before launching into longtime setlist staple “Phil’s Farm,” which closed out the set. UM’s first night in Colorado ended with an encore consisting of the instrumentals “Glory” and “Cemetery Walk II.”

The band’s three-night stand at Red Rocks continues tonight. A livestream is available via Tour Gigs. Watch “JaJunk” from last night’s livestream listen to an audience tape recorded by Don Olker and view Phil Clarkin’s photos below::

Setlist (via All Things Umphrey’s)

Set One: JaJunk[1], Roulette, Booth Love, Plunger > Cemetery Walk, Wizard Burial Ground > Nopener > Attachments > Wizard Burial Ground

Set Two: Restrung[2] > The Silent Type, Ocean Billy -> This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)[3] > Day Nurse > Ocean Billy, Miami Virtue > Den, Phil’s Farm

Encore: Glory > Cemetery Walk II


  • [1] with Can’t You Hear Me Knocking (The Rolling Stones) teases
  • [2] song previously known as Unsung Hero
  • [3] debut, Talking Heads
  • Start Me Up (The Rolling Stones) tease before Plunger
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