Thursday, May 2, 2013

Show review: Umphrey's McGee at Park West, 4/26/13

By Melissa Bordeau

The “Umphreaks” were all present at their beloved band's 4th annual UmBowl at Park West this past Friday night. The theater was packed with hippie dads, dancing girls with dreads and a strangely large amount of guys in Hawaiian shirts. Everyone was drinking bottled beer with the UmBowl koozie enjoying the phenomenal five hour set, performed by who I like to call The Gods of Jam Band, Umphrey’s McGee.

What makes UmBowl so fantastic is the uniqueness of the event. The concert is set out like a football game, having four different “quarters.” Each quarter serves a different purpose, all involving the audience’s interaction. What a brilliant way to have the audience be a part of the concert. Since Umphrey’s has countless songs and amazing abilities to cover pretty much any song out there and have it sound impeccable, the band's idea to cater to their audience by having them literally choose what songs they want to hear throughout the night is genius.

The sextet started the night off with their “Raw Stewage” quarter. This quarter really expressed how the band has perfected the art of jamming. Each song effortlessly blended into the next. Their famous lightshow looked amazing reflecting off the disco ball in the center of the theater.

The second quarter “All Request” was determined by a ballot that was given to all the attendees. Songs chosen for this set were "Orion" by Metallica, the Cantina Band song from Star Wars and a few songs from the Beatles to end off the set, such as "Golden Slumbers" and "Carry That Weight".

To give the Umphreaks a little break from groovin’, the band provided them with some light entertainment, their parody of Forrest Gump, or should I say Forest Umph.

The third quarter, “Stew Art Event,” is where fans chose a different theme to have the band play out. Some of those themes were “Baby Making Music” and “Hillybilly Hoedown.”

The final quarter was “Choose Your Own Adventure” style, in which attendees voted for songs of their liking. To me, their cover of Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" was the highlight. By the time it was all over, the Umphreaks were overwhelmed with joy from an amazing five hour set from the Gods of Jam Band.

Check it out the band's cover of "Get Lucky" from the show:

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