sister christian! panama!

Umphrey’s McGee :: December 30, 2004
Riveria Theater :: Chicago, IL

My jaw is still dropped, even after sleeping nine hours. You’ve got to love and hate a show that ends by 10:15; this can mean an early night or an even crazier night, depending on how you roll. Amidst the relative chaos getting in (I’ve never stood in line that long for a UM show) and getting out (the Red Line station was packed), Umphrey’s McGee gave their fans a real treat on Thursday night, even including a Booty Wax to end 2004 (“Break out the booty wax…It’s Thursday Night!”). The joy I experienced will hopefully be able to be relived at some point in the near future; they were filming these two shows for a DVD.

By the time I got in, Buckethead was finishing up his mini-set. I found it rather hilarious that his show was simply him with a guitar, drum machine, and a bucket on his head. All in all, he’s gotten mixed reviews on The Bort.

Umphrey’s came out strong on Thursday; they played a lot of songs that I wasn’t completely familiar with, so they kept me guessing all night. The set one highlight for me included the set closer Resolution > Bridgeless. Padgett’s Profile was nice, and I personally thought the Buckethead Jam was sick. They spoke to each other using their guitars. It was disgusting.

Set one was tight as always, but set two was where the real magic happened in my opinion. Der Bluten Kat opened it up, and 26 minutes later I was very pleased with my decision to decide to attend both nights. The obvious highlights of the set involved the simple madness that was Sister Christian and the Keytar Jam > Panama for an encore. I find it certainly fitting that for some reason a band that can really rock will find themselves at the helm of the jamband movement. They’ve doubled their fanbase in one year’s time if comparing them by their New Year’s Eve shows. December 31, 2003 was at The Vic, a theater that holds ~1200 fans; the Riveria holds 2300. Go see this band while you can…

Watch for UM’s actual breakthrough year in 2005. You heard it here first.

Set I: Soul Food I => Nemo,Pagett’s Profile, Much Obliged => Buckethead jam => Resolution => Bridgeless

Set II: DBK, Walletsworth, Glory => Uncommon, The Fussy Dutchman^, Hangover**, Sister Christian#$, Bottom Half

Encore: Panama^^$

*w/ Greg Rzab (?) on bass along with Pony
**w/ booty wax
^ w/ “Linus and Lucy” teases
# w/ Brian Felix, keyboardist from OM Trio
$ Myers on vocals
^^ First time Played

By the way, check out this amazing gallery of Umphrey’s McGee on December 30, 2004 ( © umphs100). These are a jem.