PICS: Umphrey’s McGee at the Observatory North Park

"Local band does OK": Umphrey's McGee brought out the jams at the Observatory North Park on March 25

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It was nearly a year to the day when the band was last in town!
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UM currently consists of guitarist/vocalist Brendan Bayliss, bassist Ryan Stasik (pictured foreground), keyboardist Joel Cummins, percussionist Andy Farag, guitarist Jake Cinninger, and drummer Kris Myers.
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As they usually do, the band tore through two sets (and an encore) during the show.
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Known to throw in a few covers, Umphrey’s pulled out Pearl Jam's "Release," Toto's "Africa" and Led Zeppelin's “The Song Remains the Same” on March 25. (Brendan Bayliss pictured left)
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While they’re routinely classified as part of the jam-band scene with Phish and the Grateful Dead (or Dead and Company now), they’re much more influenced by harder progressive rock than those other artists. (Jake Cinninger pictured)
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Influences range from the Police, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, King Crimson, Yes, Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa, early Genesis, and Iron Maiden. (Kris Myers pictured)
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Their music runs the gamut when it comes to style, combining elements from rock, metal, jazz, funk, blues, electro, bluegrass and folk.
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But back to the beginning: Umphrey’s McGee was formed in 1997 by Bayliss, Stasik, Cummins and original drummer Mike Mirro while they attended the University of Notre Dame.
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According to Cummins, “the name originated from a distant relative of Brendan’s who shares a similar namesake. We’ve altered the name slightly.” (Cinninger pictured)
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When they started out, they played both originals and covers by Guns N’ Roses, Phish, moe. and the Grateful Dead. After only eight months together, the band released “Greatest Hits Vol. III” in 1998. Soon thereafter, they released their first live album, “Songs for Older Women.”
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2002 saw the release of their first properly recorded album titled “Local Band Does OK.” After playing Bonnaroo later that summer and performing in front of more than 100,000 people, the band nearly broke up. Mirro announced he was quitting to attend medical school (On a rather sad note: Mirro passed away on Jan. 30, 2014. He was only 36). (Andy Farag pictured)
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The band soldiered on after Mirro’s departure and Farag reviewed hundreds of audition tapes -- eventually settling on Kick the Cat drummer Kris Myers.
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Since “Local Band Does OK,” the group has released nine more studio albums, with the latest being 2018’s “It's Not Us.” (Bayliss pictured)
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They’re also released 10 (!!!) live albums since 1999’s “Songs for Older Women” – with “Hall of Fame Class of 2015” being their latest – as well as nine DVDs of live performances since 2002.
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According to setlist.fm, the group’s first set on March 25 was as follows: "Attachments," "Tribute to the Spinal Shaft," "Domino Theory," "Forks," "Professor Wormbog," "The Haunt," "Release" (Pearl Jam cover) and "Looks."
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Their second set consisted of: "In the Kitchen," "Stinko's Ascension," "Africa" (Toto cover), "All in Time," "Much Obliged," and "Utopian Fir."
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Their encore featured the aforementioned Zeppelin cover and ended with "All in Time." Until next time, safe travels, Umphrey's McGee -- thanks for the great show!
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