Mayan Holidaze: Extended Umphrey’s Encore, Bisco Activites and Three Times the Big Gigantic
Photo by Dave Vann
The Disco Biscuits, Umphrey’s McGee and STS9 hosted their second annual Mayan Holidaze event over the weekend in Puerto Morelos, Mexico. Like the Caribbean Holidaze fest, the destination event featured multiple sets from each of the evening’s headliners as well as several support acts. While the weekend’s three marquee names shied away from any cross-pollination during their own sets, saxophonist Dominic Lalli—who was at the event to play with his rising band Big Gigantic—sat in with all three acts.
On Thursday, Lalli sat in joined his friends STS9 during their set for “Grow,” while on Saturday, the saxophonist emerged during the Disco Biscuits’ second set for the end portion of “Spaga.” He also emerged during Umphrey’s McGee’s second set on Sunday for a take on “Thin Air, Let’s Dance.” The song featured some bonus horn gusto from Trey Anastasio Band trumpeter Jennifer Hartswick, who was at the festival for a set with Wyllys.
Mayan Holidaze boasted a number of other activities, including a Texas Hold ‘em Tournament with STS9’s David Murphy, scuba diving with Disco Biscuits’ Aron Magner, a jungle expedition with Disco Biscuits’ Marc Brownstein and Allen Aucoin, a Nacho Libre Water Jousting competition hosted by Disco Biscuits Jon Gutwillig and a golf outing with members of Umphrey’s McGee. Gutwillig, Murphy, Umphrey’s McGee’s Ryan Stasik and Joel Cummins and other band crew members also participated in a inter-band game of football.
Of the weekend’s many musical highlights, one standout moment was an uncharacteristically long Umphrey’s McGee encore on Friday based around “Pay the Snucka” that opened with “Miami Virtue,” before segueing into “Jimmy Stewart,” “Nothing Too Fancy,” “Pay the Snucka,” “Steppin’ Razor, “Pay the Snucka,” “Miami Virtue,” “Jimmy Stewart,” “Nothing Too Fancy,” “Pay the Snucka,” “Steppin’ Razor” and the end of “Pay the Snucka.” In addition, Umphrey’s McGee’s Brendan Bayliss offered a cover-heavy poolside set that featured such numbers as Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature,” Talking Heads’ “This Must Be the Place (Native Melody),” Ween’s “Freedom of 76,” Paul Simon’s “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes,” M.I.A.‘s
“Paper Planes” and Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up,” among others. Hartswick also song on a version of SteelDriver’s “If It Hadn’t Been For Love”—a song re-popularized by Adele—while Umphrey’s McGee manager Vince Iwinski sang on a cover of Ween’s “Booze Me Up and Get Me High.”