Umphrey’s McGee Returns With ‘Live In The Boondocks’ Livestream
Umphrey’s McGee reunited at guitarist Jake Cinninger‘s Boondocks Studio facility in Michigan on Wednesday for the first of two Live In The Boondocks livestreamed sets that mark the band’s first public performances since March 7, 2020. The sextet focused on beloved classics and threw in a Bob Marley cover for good measure over the course of the nearly two-hour set.
“I gotta be honest, I almost teared up during that first song,” guitarist Brendan Bayliss told his band mates and the audience watching via livestream following the pairing of “Glory” and “Puppet String” that opened Wednesday’s performance. “We haven’t performed in three months, that’s a very very long time for us” and added, “It’s good to see you guys.”
The band was clearly happy to be back, despite performing without an in-person crowd and joked about the lack of reponse when ending a song. Each member of UM used a somewhat stripped down rig in order to fit their gear within the space. No signs of rust were apparent from the “Glory” opener through the “All In Time” that ended the set.
The emotional “Glory” that kicked off the show gave way to a well-jammed “Puppet String” which spanned nearly 15 minutes. Umphrey’s broke through the structure of “Puppet String” for a hard-driving improvisation featuring fretboard fireworks from Jake, who was in particularly fine form on Wednesday. Cinninger often guided the band using hand signals as he does when they play regular stages. “Puppet String” was followed by “Maybe Someday,” the newest song performed by UM last night.
“Utopian Fir,” which dates back to 2001, came after “Maybe Someday” and contained a funk workout with layers of wah-wah Clavinet courtesy of keyboardist Joel Cummins. The band then explored a beautiful, blissful jam space before returning to the structure of “Utopian Fir.” The reggae feel of “Fir” provided a nice springboard for UM to begin a cover of Bob Marley’s “Trenchtown Rock.” Umphrey’s hadn’t performed “Trenchtown Rock” since June 1, 2018.
The set continued with a powerful “Hajimemshite” belted out with force by Bayliss. “Haji” have way to “Ringo,” another jam vehicle in which Cinninger conducted his mates through various key changes and pairings. Umphrey’s then launched into “All In Time,” one of their signature songs. The six-piece split “All In Time” by inserting “Day Nurse” and “Remind Me” within. “Thank you guys for letting us do that,” Bayliss exclaimed as he and his mates took off their headphones and ended the set.
Watch Wednesday’s “Glory” into “Puppet String” below:
Setlist (via All Things Umphreys)
Set: Glory > Puppet String, Maybe Someday, Utopian Fir > Trenchtown Rock, Hajimemashite > Ringo, All In Time > Day Nurse, Remind Me > All In Time