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Published: 2006/05/08

UM is ‘Home Again,’ while the Disco Biscuits are ‘Wrapped Around Chicago’

Since bonding on the 2005 Jam Cruise, the Disco Biscuits and Umphrey’s McGee have become close friends, sharing side-projects and collaborating at festival-size events. For a while, the two bands have also discussed swapping songs simultaneously in different areas of the country. On Friday, Umphrey’s McGee performed in the Disco Biscuits’ Philadelphia hometown, while the Disco Biscuits held court in Umphrey’s McGee’s Chicago stomping grounds. After rehearsing each other’s material at soundchecks (and in the Biscuits’ case, Travis Tritt’s Nashville studio), the Disco Biscuits performed Umphrey’s ‘In the Kitchen’ at Chicago’s Vic Theatre, while Umphrey’s McGee simultaneously covered the Disco Biscuits’ ‘Home Again’ at Philadelphia’s Electric Factory.
‘We started throwing around the idea when Conspirator was on the road with us,’ Umphrey’s McGee’s Brendan Bayliss says. ‘[Marc]Brownstein, [Aron] Magner, and [Disco Biscuits’ road manager Dan] Berkowitz would joke around and say ‘Chicago…whooo!’ and it became a big laugh for all of us. So, as we kept crossing paths, especially with the Brain Damaged Eggmen thing. We weren’t sure if they were trying to Punk us or not. Thankfully, they upheld their end of the deal. I’m looking forward to future collaborative ventures not necessarily musical ones, either.’ Brownstein continues: ‘We realized that UM was in Philly when we were in Chi-town, so we just had to jump on it. The switch was a true representatiopn of the synergy that exists between the two bands, as well as throughout our scene.’
As for each band’s cover choice, both artists opted for geographically appropriate songs. ‘In the Kitchen’ features the line ‘wrapped around Chicago,’ while ‘Home Again’ has aged into the Disco Biscuits’ Philadelphia anthem. The Disco Biscuits and Umphrey’s McGee will share several bills in the coming months, including an interlocking set at Bonnaroo.

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