Umphrey’s McGee at the Fillmore Auditorium on New Year’s Eve 2013 (review)By Nate Etter | January 2nd, 2014 | No Comments »
After three very different shows — a metal-heavy evening on Saturday, a fusion-filled jazz party on Sunday and an intimate affair with an open bar and fan-curated setlist at the 1UP-Colfax on Monday — Umphreyâ€™s McGee returned to a sold out Fillmore Auditorium Tuesday night to ring in 2014. The celebratory show featured three full sets by the prog-rock powerhouse and appearances by saxophonist Jeff Coffin (Dave Matthews Band) and Mad Dogâ€™s Filthy Little Secret Horns.
See photos from Umphrey’s McGee’s Dec. 30 show at 1Up-Colfax below.
A diverse first set was dominated by the epic â€śOcean Billyâ€ť that departed from the bandâ€™s schizophrenic tendencies in favor of a catchy saga that ended with guitarist Jake Cinninger taking center stage. Not to disappoint the metal heads in attendance, the set also included the biting thrash metal of â€śWizard Burial Ground.â€ť
Set two continued with surprises, like a tease of Led Zeppelinâ€™s â€śStairway to Heavenâ€ť that dropped into â€śPay the Snucka.â€ť A reggae tinged â€śUtopian Firâ€ť got the crowd amped for a cover of Phil Collins’ â€śSussudioâ€ť that may have been the highlight of the night as drummer Kris Meyers belted the falsetto chorus.
A stellar third set started with the classic crowd favorite â€śHurt Bird Bathâ€ť that killed the time before the clock struck twelve. At midnight, thousands of balloons fell from the chandeliers while the band broke into a horn-filled take of the NYE staple â€śAuld Lang Syne.â€ť The party continued with an exceptionally synced light show to a funky â€śWappy Sprayberry,â€ť a shredding â€śMiss Tinkleâ€™s Overtureâ€ť and â€śBridgeless.â€ť
With 15 years of continuous touring, an exceptional lighting director in Jefferson Waful and a loyal Midwest fanbase that rivals any jam band, Umphreyâ€™s McGee has solidified themselves as a top tier act that closed out a commemorative year in style.
Nate Etter is a Boulder-based musician and a regular contributor to Reverb. You can reach him at Nate@EcoVessel.com.