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Published: 2017/01/01

Umphrey’s McGee Debut Originals and Covers, Honor David Bowie and George Michael on New Year’s Eve

With the loss of so many iconic musicians in 2016, Umphrey’s McGee did their part to pay tribute to some of the fallen icons as they brought in the new year at the Aragon Ballroom in Chicago.

The night kicked off with one of the band’s best new originals, “Attachments,” which was paired early on with their older tune “Fussy Dutchman.” The anthemic “Wife Soup” took a detour into the heavy instrumental “Dump City” before returning to the finish, marking one of the most musically creative moments of the night.

Mad Dog’s Filthy Little Secret took their customary spot as the backing horn section for the band beginning with a new original dubbed “Cut Off.” The band previously debuted “North Route” on December 30. The Anchor Drops rarity “13 Days” rounded out the first set complete with horns as well, marking its first appearance since February 5, 2015.

Umphrey’s kept the horns out (which also included Dave Matthews Band sax man Jeff Coffin) for an extended “Booth Love” in the seond set as well as the first rendition of Steely Dan’s “Kid Charlemagne” since March 13, 2011 and just the second performance of the tune ever.

The horns then departed for a standout segment that included “Triple Wide” and a lengthy “Bottom Half” that anchored the second set. The soaring Raw Stewage cut “Mad Love” and singalong “Hangover” lit up the crowd as Jake Cinninger and Brendan Bayliss traded guitar fireworks on the former tune.

Mad Dog’s Filthy Little Secret returned for “Comma Later,” another popular tune for horns in the UM canon, and swiftly departed as the group closed the set with a debut of Sturgill Simpson’s tune “Call to Arms.” Umphrey’s previously covered Simpson’s interpretation of Nirvana’s “In Bloom” earlier this year.

With midnight approaching in the Central Time Zone, the horns joined Umphrey’s for “In the Kitchen” which exploded into “Auld Lang Syne” and the customary balloon drop. With 2016 in the rear view mirror, the group looked back with an homage to David Bowie by covering his Station to Station track “Golden Years” for the first time.

The next tribute came to end the third set, as they nodded to the late George Michael with the first cover of his “Freedom ’90” since 2000. The song was frequent in the UM catalog during June of 1999 but disappeared after a final play in July of 2000. Michael passed away recently at the age of 53.

Next up for Umphrey’s McGee is their Tabernacle kickoff in Atlanta beginning January 13.

Here’s a look at the setlist as it appears in our Box Scores section:

Umphrey’s McGee
Aragon Ballroom Chicago, IL

Set I: Attachments > The Fussy Dutchman, Puppet String, Wife Soup > Dump City > Wife Soup, Cut Off^ > 13 Days*

Set II: Booth Love*, Kid Charlemagne*, The Triple Wide > The Bottom Half, Mad Love, Hangover, Comma Later*, Call To Arms

Set III: In the Kitchen* > Auld Lang Syne* > Golden Years* > Partyin’ Peeps*, All In Time, Day Nurse, August > Freedom*

Enc: Bad Friday*

^Debut, with Mad Dog’s Filthy Little Secret *With Mad Dog’s Filthy Little Secret


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