Umphrey’s Conclude Epic Vermont Run

After two top-notch shows, Umphrey’s raised the stakes even higher for Saturday’s show. The first set was all about the jams as a turbo-fied Nothing Too Fancy book-ended a strong sequence that included heavy hitters The Fuzz, Hurt Bird Bath, The Bottom Half and Water.

As the band took the stage for set two, they were joined by a horn section made up of Jennifer Hartswick, Brian McNamara and Dave “The Truth” Grippo. The three horn players added a nice counterpoint to the UM original Cemetery Walk before a dance party erupted when the first notes of Michael Jackson’s Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough rang out.

The biggest bustout of the weekend came towards the end of the already-stellar second set of night three when the horns came out for a tender version of Baby Honey Sugar Darlin’ – a tune that hadn’t been played in nearly nine years. Brendan Bayliss delivered spot-on vocals and UM’s take on BHSD was so tight you would’ve never guessed they hadn’t played it in 919 shows. A horny Partyin’ Peeps kept spirits high to end the set. For the encore, the group followed The Floor by inviting Hartswick out to sing Heart’s Barracuda. Hartswick was in her element as she added verve and moxie while passionately belting out the lyrics.

Umphrey’s McGee – Barracuda

2009 has been a weird year for Umphrey’s McGee. The group unveiled the two-years-in-the-making Mantis at the beginning of the year and the tunes weren’t easily worked into their repertoire. After about six months, the band members started to get more comfortable with the material and now they are clicking on all cylinders. UM continues their final tour of the year tonight at Northern Lights outside of Albany before hitting Rochester on Wednesday, Pittsburgh on Thursday and Washington D.C. on Friday and Saturday.

Here’s a photo gallery of Tammy Wetzel’s shots from Toronto…

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7 Responses

  1. Where is HT contributor Wade Wilby in his assessment of the shows when you need him?

    I was gonna head up to one or 2 of these shows….seeing I missed GRippo and Hartswick kickin brass, I’m feeling so forelorn.

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