The first annual UMBowl lived up to the hype this past Saturday night as Umphrey’s McGee gave the fans what they wanted over the course of four “quarters” at the intimate Lincoln Hall in Chicago. There were bust outs galore, debuts and reworked versions of old classics as well as plenty of mash-ups. Quarter one featured the band on acoustic performing songs that were voted on by attendees and webcast viewers including the first-ever live version of the Safety In Numbers cut The Weight Around, the first-ever acoustic take on Hurt Bird Bath and a completely out of left field cover of Interstate Love Song by the Stone Temple Pilots.
A Humorous Video Introduced Each Quarter
For the second quarter, the Chicago-based sextet improvised on themes provided by fans through text messages. Before the first round of improv keyboardist Joel Cummins asked fans to text in mashup ideas and the attendees and webcast viewers responded with a number of good ideas including Bathtub Gin & Juice, Ocean Billie Jean and Cemetery Walk This Way. The second category given by Cummins was “Numbers, Colors and Shapes” and the final one was “Make Us Laugh” which led to such texts as The Folk Prince of Bel-Air and Reggae Titties and Beer.
Quarter three was an all-request electric set that saw the band dust off Muff II: The Revenge for the first time since 2002 and Muffburger Sandwich for the first time since 2005. Other treats included a dub version of Wife Soup and a funk-laden Der Bluten Kat sandwich with a Girlfriend Is Better filling.
READ ON for more on UMBowl and an extremely detailed setlist…