Yesterday was a day of ups and downs for HT faves Umphrey’s McGee as the group took a beating on the internet for their new Chicago theme song and then went on perform with legendary blues man Buddy Guy at a private show in Chicago for Choose Chicago volunteers.
For the group’s performance at Park West, the band debuted their theme song for The Windy City titled “Chicago.” The tune went viral on Thursday and not in a good way. An A.V. Club Chicago article lambasted the cheesy song, which also features contributions from Buddy Guy and the Chicago (the band) horn section, and the attention led to a bevy of harsh reactions via Twitter. Even Mountain Goats’ John Darnielle weighed in on the mini-controversy by coming up with alternate Chicago theme song ideas via Twitter. By the end of the day there was even a “karaoke style” video of Chicago on YouTube…
With last night’s “private” show, tonight’s UMBowl III and another private gig tomorrow, the band didn’t have time to dwell on the reaction to their newest song. Yesterday’s performance was set up as a thank you to volunteers of Choose Chicago, the city’s tourism board. Following the instrumental Nipple Trix and performances of Conduit and the Chicago-referencing In The Kitchen, Chicago Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts came out to introduce the debut take on the much-maligned Chicago. Though Buddy Guy didn’t help out on the first live version of the tune, the legendary guitarist did guest on Willie Dixon’s Hoochie Coochie Man and Guy’s own Damn Right I Got The Blues at the end of the set. Guy and Umphrey’s played both songs, as well as Muddy Waters’ She’s Nineteen Years Old, the last time they hooked up – at The Auditorium Theatre on December 29, 2008.
Set: Nipple Trix> Conduit, In The Kitchen, Chicago*, Miami Virtue, End of the Road, Booth Love, Baba O’ Riley, Partyin’ Peeps, Puppet String, Hoochie Coochie Man**, Damn Right I Got The Blues**
Encore: Africa, Nemo
* First Time Played – Introduced by Cubs owner
** w/Buddy Guy
[via The Bort]
Tonight, UM returns to Park West for the football-themed UMBowl III in which the group will play four quarters, each with a different theme. Tickets sold out immediately, but iClips is offering a $12.99 Pay-Per-View webcast.