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Published: 2013/12/08

Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger Cover Pearl Jam, Dave Matthews Band, Grateful Dead and More at Annual Holiday Show

Umphrey’s McGee guitarists Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger took the stage at Chicago’s Park West last night for their annual Acoustic Holiday Show. The venue that has hosted UM’s own UMBowl since its second year played host once again to the Acoustic Holiday Show as well as the Umphrey’s McGee Garage Sale before the show, featuring old merch items from the UM vault.

The show began on a playful note, with the duo coming out to “Soul Food I.” Bayliss and Cinninger would mix in more Umphrey’s originals than normal, as “Puppet String,” “Dim Sun,” The Pequod,” “Passing” and “Bad Poker” all filled out the first half of the set. “Cut the Cable,” a Brendan Bayliss original that has been played as a 30db arrangement as well as with Umphrey’s, also made it into the set.

Known for including some never before played (or rarely played) covers, the group started with Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here,” last played by UM in 2009. The biggest jam segment of the show came right in the middle when Bayliss switched over to mandolin for a monster performance of “Great American,” which featured a cover of Pearl Jam’s “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town” and the UM original “No Comment.” Segments of “Great American” were jammed around both of those selections.

The surprise of the night came when Brendan jumped on the piano for a cover of Dave Matthews Band’s “Christmas Song.” The track, originally released on DMB’s Remember Two Things is a debut for Bayliss and Umphrey’s. Last year’s Acoustic Holiday show also featured Brendan on piano for Radiohead’s “Karma Police.”

With no special guests thus far, Bayliss and Cinninger brought out UM drummer Kris Myers for the final run of the one-set show. Myers would serve as the only guest throughout the evening, and would add drums and vocals to “Gulf Stream,” (which also featured Bayliss on piano) Little Feat’s “On Your Way Down,” “Hajimemashite,” “Hangover,” a special cover of the Grateful Dead’s “Crazy Fingers” and the set closer, “Front Porch.” Jake Cinninger also switched to bass for “Hangover” and “Front Porch.”

The four-song encore began with a spoken-word version of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” with Kris Myers on vocals. Drawing from their previous “Santa Oddity” mashup, the group put a Christmas spin on “Black Sabbath,” with Santa-themed lyrics. The final cover of the night came in the form of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Breaking the Girl” featuring Jake on bass along with Kris Myers. The finale, the Bayliss composition “No Diablo,” written for Jake’s son, was arranged differently, with Brendan moving to the piano to play the tune rather than on the guitar.

The show, which benefitted The People’s Music School, was sold out. Umphrey’s McGee will take the stage on December 16 at Mayan Holidaze.

Here’s a look at the full setlist from last night:

Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger, December 7, 2013, Park West, Chicago, IL

Soul Food 1 >
Puppet String >
Dim Sun >
The Pequod
Puppet String
Bad Poker
Cut the Cable
Wish You Were Here
Great American >
Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town >
Great American >
No Comment >
Great American
Christmas Song
Gulf Stream
On Your Way Down
Crazy Fingers
Front Porch

Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Black Santa
Breaking the Girl
No Diablo

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