umphrey’s mcgee – skyline stage – 8.6.04

not only was i extremely excited to see umphrey’s mcgee this weekend, i knew that the two shows on friday and saturday night would be special. that being said, i’d like to share with you my highlights. these shows were definitely hot.

friday night came, and the first set started out with push the pig; unfortunately, i arrived a few minutes late and i only caught the end of this. from there, bridgeless. this song is amazing and they played it solid. i read a review a while back where someone said that bridgeless gives them goose bumps every time they hear it. i agree with that statement.

additional set one highlights included #5 and divisions as the set one closer. #5 had a nice and slow stasik intro that led into the normal song structure, including the great double-time section of that rock-trance i love so much.

in my opinion, set two is where the real meat of the night was cooked. they opened with a great and appropriate reference to the late, great, funk-legend rick james by playing about twenty seconds of super freak before launching into prowler. it was great to hear prowler, and the guys played it flawlessly that night. party peeps began next, and i found this song to be great and definitely a highlight of the night for me. i had never heard this song before, plus add to that their huge disco ball (one, two) and you’ll understand the joy that all of us felt on friday night. then, BOOM! hunt bird bath exploded from the beginning and the place loved it. i had never seen this one live before, and i was loving every minute of it. a typical hbb followed into the excellent sped-up blue echo; consider how good and how much they’ve been playing in the past year, it’s amazing to me that they ever played it slow in the first place. blue echo segued nicely into a standard 13 days, one of my favorites from anchor drops. jajunk began, and i was happy. enough said. the jam in the middle was crazy as usual; i’m going to have to listen to it again to fully understand what i witnessed. bad poker > padgett’s profile > “jimmy stewart” > padgett’s profile > mail package ended the second set. this was a slight blur to me, as i don’t have a great memory of padgett’s profile; i think i went to the bathroom at this point. mail package was good to see again and definitely a solid set two closer.

as the crowd screamed and held up their lighters to welcome the boys back on stage for the encore, the opening notes to ocean billy were played, yet no one was on stage; a very nice touch. ocean billy was wonderful again, as i seem to see this song at every umphrey’s show i go to. believe me, i’m not complaining. there was a nice segue into myer’s banging on the drums, and then all of a sudden, the beat was recognizable. “no way,” thought justin. “there’s no way they’re going to end the show with hot for teacher. isn’t that song, like impossible or something?” well, i can assure you that umphrey’s closed the show with a scorching rendition of van halen’s hot for teacher. here’s proof (requires quicktime).

download the show and enjoy it. i was very happy with friday night’s show. the skyline stage is very cool and i think that umphrey’s mcgee really came to play that night.