Umphrey’s McGee Busts Out ‘Salamander Strut’ & Ween Cover In Albany

"Salamander Strut" marked the longest the band had ever gone between performances of a song.

By Scott Bernstein Jan 24, 2022 12:46 pm PST

Umphrey’s McGee dusted off a longlost original and Ween cover during their Saturday night concert in Albany. Keyboardist Joel Cummins led the first “Salamander Strut” in well over 22 years at the Palace Theatre which was followed by the sextet’s first take on Ween’s “Even If You Don’t” since June of 2015.

One night after the band celebrated their 24th anniversary in Syracuse by performing Local Band Does O.K. in its entirety, Umphrey’s McGee launched into “Cemetery Walk” to start the Albany show. The sextet then patiently made its way through an expansive “Booth Love” before landing on “Make It Right.” Next, UM paired “Suxity” and “The Floor.”

Saturday’s first set rolled on with Cummins performing “Salamander Strut” accompanied by drummer Kris Myers. The jazzy original penned by Joel was last played on July 4, 1999 — a span of 2,249 shows — which makes it the biggest bust out in UM history when tabulating concerts between performances. “Don’t forget to tip your bartenders, ladies and gentlemen,” Myers quipped before Cummins hit upon the piano intro for “Even If You Don’t.” Ween originally released “Even If You Don’t” on their 2000 studio album, White Pepper. The band’s Aaron “Gene Ween” Freeman fronted Umphrey’s McGee on the song during their Godboner Meets Gene Ween collaboration at the 2015 Summer Camp Music Festival. Umphrey’s only other “Even If You Don’t” performance came on June 27, 2015 in Kansas City.

The bust outs were followed by “Anchor Drops” and “Mulche’s Odyssey” to end the first set in Albany. Umphrey’s then kicked off the second set at the Palace with an “Attachments” that spanned nearly 17 minutes and featured a wild disco-tinged jam segment. The six-piece modulated to a pretty major key to pave the way for a transition into beloved instrumental “Glory.”

Guitarist Jake Cinninger provided a clinic on tasteful shredding during “Glory,” which gave way to oldie “The Crooked One.” Once again Cinninger went full blast in fronting a “Crooked One” jam that dropped into a reggae groove featuring “Wrapped Around Your Finger” teases from Cummins before “It Doesn’t Matter” emerged. Brendan Bayliss then stepped up to lead his bandmates through “The Silent Type” before UM closed the set with old school instrumental “The Fussy Dutchman” and a +16-minute “JaJunk.” After opening the night with “Cemetery Walk,” the sextet fittingly bookended the concert with a “Cemetery Walk II” encore.

Watch an “Even If You Don’t” clip from Saturday thanks to NYS Music below:

Setlist (via All Things Umphreys)

Set One: Cemetery Walk > Booth Love > Make It Right, Suxity > The Floor, Salamander Strut > Even If You Don’t, Anchor Drops > Mulche’s Odyssey

Set Two: Attachments > Glory > The Crooked One[1]-> It Doesn’t Matter > The Silent Type, The Fussy Dutchman, JaJunk

Encore: Cemetery Walk II

Footnotes:

  • [1] with Wrapped Around Your Finger (The Police) tease

Show Notes:

  • last Salamander Strut 1999-07-04 (2,249 shows)
  • last Even If You Don’t 2015-06-27 (497 shows)
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