Umphrey’s McGee Closes Colorado Run with Thrilling Red Rocks Show
Umphrey’s McGee played a sold-out show at the famed Red Rocks last night, their first ever. The two-set show was not lacking on heavy hitters from the group’s catalog as well a selection of new material from their latest album Similar Skin.
The first set would include a new intro in “Lucid State,” a composed piece that focuses more on the band’s new rock band identity. Later in the set, Umphrey’s jammed on “Gents,” a popular selection from their “Raw Stewage” quarter at this year’s UMBowl, during a massive “Ocean Billy” that was followed by their heaviest of heavy hitters—“All in Time.”
For the delicate, “End of the Road,” Jake Cinninger utilized Jerry Garcia’s Travis Bean TB500 guitar. The guitar, which was debuted at the Grateful Dead’s New Year’s Eve show in 1976, was played at more than 90 shows in the late ’70s and utilized while recording Terrapin Station. Per Joel Cummins on Twitter, a friend of the band owns the guitar now and brought it out to the gig.
After “End of the Road,” the band dug into a new Similar Skin track, “Educated Guess” for the first time. The complex tune that Brendan Bayliss has compared to “Mantis” was executed with precision and pulled off before the fun “Hollywood Nights” closed the set.
Highlights from the second set included Big Gigantic’s Dominic Lalli helping the band out on the new tune “Bad Friday,” which has garnered highly favorable reviews since its debut at the New Year’s run in Denver, CO last December. “Dump City,” “Slacker” and “Wappy Sprayberry” all contained huge jams (particularly the latter) before the band finished “JaJunk” to end the set.
Umphrey’s would invite Gabe Mervine and Matt Pitts as a part of a horn section and Jans Ingber of The Motet, who opened the show alongside Moon Taxi, for a cover of The Band’s “Ophelia.” While Moon Taxi didn’t appear for a collaboration, Umphrey’s did close the show with their own “Hajimemashite” and the end jam of “Bridgeless.”
In other Umphrey’s McGee news, the band confirmed their annual Halloween run this year with a two-night run at Boston’s House of Blues on October 31-November 1. The band will once again present their Monster Mashup event. More details are expected to be announced soon.
Here’s a look at the setlist as it appears in our Box Scores section:
Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO
Set II: Little Gift, Bridgeless > Bad Friday3, Dump City, Slacker, Wappy Sprayberry > JaJunk
Encore: Ophelia4, Hajimemashite > Bridgeless
Notes:  debut, original
 with Dominic Lalli on saxophone
 with Gabe Mervine on trumpet, Matt Pitts on saxophone, and Jans Ingber on vocals