Umphreys McGee’s Holiday Finale Includes Special Covers, Gospel Choir
Umphreys McGee closed its multi-night run at Chicagos Auditorium Theatre with a sold-out, three-set performance on New Years Eve. Like the previous two nights of its New Years Run, Umphreys McGee invited a series of special guests onstage for a few songs and also offered some unique covers at various points throughout the night. Near the end of Umphreys first set, The Queen of the Blues Koko Taylor took the stage to sing on the groups first covers the blues-classic Let the Good Times Roll and Etta James arrangement of Come to Mama.
Umphreys McGee returned at the start of its second set with a full horn section led by longtime group friend Michael ‘Mad Dog’ Mavridoglou for both a version of Women Wine and Song and a cover of Michael Jacksons Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough. After a celebratory segment that included Partyin’ Peeps, Hurt Bird Bath and a sandwich of Much Obliged and Closer, the horn section returned for a set-closing version of Bridgeless.
But, for many, all that was just an appetizer for the bands New Years set, which began with a horn-bolstered version of Wappy Sprayberry that led into the traditional Auld Lang Syne, before returning once again to Wappy Sprayberry. Following some good natured New Years fanfare, the song morphed into JaJunk, then Highins and, finally, back to JaJunk. In one of Umphreys best received stunts, The Chicago Mass Choir later backed the band on a medley of the traditional Amazing Grace and the original Glory, as well as the Beatles With a Little Help From My Friends. After a horn-bolstered version of Wife Soup, the choir returned one final time as drummer Kris Myers made a rare move to the front of the stage to sing on U2s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For. The night later came to a close with segue from Divisions into Hangover back into Divisions.
Umphreys McGee will debut most of the material from its forthcoming album Mantis during a run of shows later this month Please click here for a video from the groups recent New Years Eve performance.