Twenty-five years is a long time to do anything, especially to stay on top of a successful career in the live music industry. For Umphrey’s McGee, though, it’s just business as usual as the band’s umXXV Anniversary Tour blasts off with nearly 30 shows in cities across the country including stops on both coasts, the Midwest, and even the open seas. After kicking off with a pair of opening nights at the 9:30 Club in Washington D.C., Umph took a short drive up I-95 North to celebrate their silver jubilee at The Fillmore Philadelphia in the City of Brotherly Love.

On hand to lend opening support was Neighbor, a rising jamband from the Boston area formed by childhood neighbors Richard James (keyboards, vocals; Pink Talking Fish) and Lyle Brewer (guitar, vocals) and rounded out by bassist Dan Kelly and drummer Dean Johnston. After capping 2022 with an all-time crowd of 700+ at their own headlining gig at Sony Hall, Neighbor is hopeful to enjoy Umph’s level of success over their still burgeoning career and has been spending early January doing just the type of work that can spread their exposure and expand their footprint by bouncing between opening duties for longtime jamgrass mainstays Greensky Bluegrass and UM—and their catalog has just the type of mass appeal to ensure that formula works.

James, in addition to his prowess with the keys, is a soulful vocalist who crafts meaningful and resonant lyrics (“Sleep When You’re Dead”). Brewer, an assistant professor at the Berklee College of Music, is a musician’s musician who believes that “the most important thing is to maintain each student’s personal connection with music.” As a performer, his desire for connection comes through with every note. Technical and precise (“I Saw You”), but with universal accessibility (“Take Me Alive”), Brewer has jaw dropping talent. Dan Kelly infuses the band with youthful energy while delivering the hip shaking bass grooves that make Neighbor seductively fun. With irresistible hooks, soaring peaks, and even a “chicken parm rap” that paid homage to the band’s homemade and hand delivered pre-show catering from @londreleats, “Trippin’ In A Van” was surely the highlight of Neighbor’s set. An otherwise all original and opportunistic set was capped by a cover of Nirvana’s “All Apologies”.

Neighbor – “All Apologies” (Nirvana) – 1/14/23

[Video: Marc Komito]

There was a stark visual contrast after stagehands quickly turned over the performance space. Formerly crowded with two bands’ gear, the stage was now pristine and minimalistic. Everything was just so polished and bright, precise and accurate—clean lines and sharp corners perfectly representative of the band about to embark on a three-hour musical journey with its fans. Three wide ribbons of crinkled drapes hung behind the drum risers, four downlights illuminating the stage with a muted but welcoming glow as fluorescent equipment shone brightly behind the vacant yet soon-to-be-filled stage positions from left to right: Jake Cinninger (guitar, vocals), Ryan Stasik (bass, no vocals), Brendan Bayliss (guitar vocals), Joel Cummins (keyboards, vocals), Kris Meyers (drums, vocals), and Andy Farag (percussion).

At this point, Umphrey’s McGee is an absolutely dialed rock and roll band who has played over 2,600 live shows over their 25-year history, a figure that should tell you all you need to know about both their success and the level of their professionalism. Fans have grown accustomed to seeing some of the best lighting directors in the business wash the band in rainbow hues, but last night was a more monochromatic affair in which Umphrey’s LD Ben Factor utilized darker hues that gave the Fillmore more of a nightclub feel.

Related: Umphrey’s McGee Announces 2023 Colorado Run, Red Rocks With moe.

A 20-plus-minute “Attachments” kicked things off with building synth and almost tribal beats that underscored the nightclub feel. “Nemo” followed briefly before a jam-heavy show continued with “Dump City” and “Silent Type”, both of which highlighted Cinninger and Bayliss’s interplay on the guitar. “Ordinary Times” gave Stasik a short chance to vibe with and engage the crowd before “Phil’s Farm” saw the night’s first swirling yellows as UM rode Cummins’s funky organ to a red- and eventually white-hot climax. A five-song second set followed suit as Umphrey’s went deep at The Fillmore with “Out Of Focus” and “JaJunk” out of the break. “Alex’s House” preceded “All In Time” before an exploratory “Ocean Billy” kept the dance vibes strong. UM would return for a two-song encore featuring “Escape Goat” > “All In Time”.

After 25 years and over 100 times that many shows, Umphrey’s always delivers a high quality product and a highly accessible good time. Even for a casual fan unfamiliar with the intricacies of their massive catalog, their perfectly constructed sound and next level lighting complete the package of best-in-class concert production. umXXV Tour continues tonight in Bethlehem, PA. For tour dates and ticketing information, head to the band’s website.

Umphrey’s McGee – “Phil’s Farm” – 1/14/23

[Video: 4K Concert Videos]

Umphrey’s McGee – “JaJunk” – 1/14/23

[Video: aershko]

Umphrey’s McGee – The Fillmore – Philadelphia, PA – 1/14/23

[Video: Musical Mayhem]

Umphrey’s McGee – “Ocean Billy” – 1/14/23

[Video: 4K Concert Videos]

Umphrey’s McGee – “Escape Goat” – 1/14/23

[Video: Chris McElroy]

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Setlist: Umphrey’s McGee | The Fillmore Philadelphia | Philadelphia, PA | 1/14/23

Set 1: Attachments, Nemo, Dump City, The Silent Type, Ordinary Times, Phil’s Farm

Set 2: Out Of Focus, JaJunk, Alex’s House, All In Time, Ocean Billy

Encore: Escape Goat, All In Time

Setlist: Neighbor | The Fillmore Philadelphia | Philadelphia, PA | 1/14/23

Set 1: Ulsa >  Trippin’ in a Van [1],  I Saw You,  Sleep When You’re Dead,  Point of No Return,  Take Me Alive,  All Apologies

[1] Saw It Again (Phish) tease.