Last night, 30db—the duo of Umphrey’s McGee’s Brendan Bayliss on acoustic guitar and Jeff Austin, formerly of Yonder Mountain String Band and leader of his own Jeff Austin Band, on mandolin—played a very intimate, sold-out show at Martyrs’ in Chicago. Over the past few years, the two have made it a point to come together once in December and treat fans to their originals from the album, which was released back in 2010. These shows are always particularly special given that both musicians are busy with their other bands and rarely get to play shows under the 30db moniker.
Over the course of the evening, Bayliss and Austin were able to squeeze in every track from One Man Show. After noting that they don’t get time to practice together frequently, the duo had the crowd count off “one, two, three, four” to start off the song “One Man Show”. In addition to originals, 30db threw out some choice covers as well like Modest Mouse’s “The Good Times Are Killing Me” and The White Stripes’ “We’re Going to be Friends”—the latter song was especially fitting as the deep friendship between the two musicians was evident during songs and between songs.
[Video: Kevin Higley]
The witty banter between the two was half of the fun of the show, as the entertainers in them both were fully present throughout the night—adding to that was the tequila shots that Brendan invited the crowd to buy them, which the crowd happily obliged. All of the above made for a spectacular Wednesday night of music made by two top musicians from the jam band scene. It would be great if they could tour together, but it is all the more reason to make it to Chicago in December.
The below setlist is fan-written by the author; it may not be 100% accurate.
Setlist: 30db | Martyrs’ | Chicago, IL | 12/20/17
I: Liar, Lick #6, Backfire, We’re Going to Be Friends, Backbone, One More, Return Item, Instrumental in D, Handshake Drugs, Automatic
II: Susanah, One Man Show, Grave, Wadmala, Get In Line, Used to Love Her, Todd Synder song, Life is Beautiful, California Stars, Cut the Cable
E: The Good Times Are Killing Me, Always Up