Umphrey’s McGee Close Hometown Run with Debuts, Special Guests
Umphrey’s McGee wrapped up their three night stand at Chicago’s Riviera Theatre last night. The first set kicked off with a lengthy, standalone “Phil’s Farm” after a new instrumental, “Bathing Digits,” started the show. More highlights in the first frame came with the likes of “Thin Air” and “Red Tape,” both of which featured lengthy improvisation. A pleasant surprise came in the form of new tune “Bad Friday,” a song debuted during the Denver New Year’s run that has been winning over crowds ever since.
Umphrey’s put down the electric guitars and switched to acoustic to close the first set, as the band broke out the emotional Safety in Numbers cut “The Weight Around.” Nashville, TN vocalist Daphne Willis then took the stage with the group for “Bullhead City,” which customarily includes a female vocalist (as it does on the Anchor Drops version). Jake Cinninger closed the first set by belting out the beloved Bob Seger tune, “Night Moves.”
The final set in Chicago included just five songs, two of which neared twenty-minutes and one the band had never played before. Kicking things off with a 27-minute “Der Bluten Kat” that dropped into a hip-hop vibe for a while, Umphrey’s delivered their longest improvisation of the run. The debut came in the form of The Cars’ “Just What I Needed,” prompting a venue-wide singalong. “Divisions” and “Believe the Lie” both saw rare midset placements, with “Puppet String” closing the set in typical rock fashion.
The band had one more surprise for the sold out crowd as Smashing Pumpkins drummer Jimmy Chamberlain replaced Kris Myers on the drum kit for a cover of the Pumpkins’ “Cherub Rock.” The 1993 hit is a mainstay in UM’s cover rotation.
Umphrey’s McGee will return to the stage on March 5, as the band kicks off a tour that begins in Missoula, MT, running through April 19 at Stubb’s BBQ in Austin, TX.
Here’s a look at the setlist as it appears in our Box Scores section
Riviera Theatre, Chicago, IL
Set I: Bathing Digits > Phil’s Farm, Miami Virtue > 2nd Self, Thin Air, Red Tape > Bad Friday, The Weight Around, Bullhead City*, Night Moves
Set II: Der Bluten Kat, Just What I Needed, Divisions, Believe the Lie, Puppet String
Enc: Cherub Rock^
Notes *Daphne Willis on vocals
^Jimmy Chamberlain on drums