Over the weekend, Umphrey’s McGee took to Colorado, performing at the legendary Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado. While the group is by no means strangers to Red Rocks, this past weekend marked Umphrey’s 13th, 14th, and 15th shows at the esteemed outdoor venue in addition to the group’s first-ever three-night Red Rocks run. With such a monumental string of performances, Umphrey’s McGee was truly in proper form across all three nights of the run. With support from Stick Figure on Friday, Bokanté and Snarky Puppy on Saturday, and Bruce Hornsby & the Noisemakers on Sunday, the multi-day lineup already pointed to Umphrey’s McGee’s diverse musical range. Saturday and Sunday also saw a number of special sit-ins for Umphrey’s headlining performances by the likes of Jennifer Hartswick, Roosevelt CollierRobert “Sput” SearightNate WerthChris Bullock, and Mike Maher.

As previously reported, for the first night of the run, Friday’s show opened with “Goonville,” a song performed by Umphrey’s McGee only 16 total times since 2015. “Make It Right” also appeared in the first set, for the 31st time ever. For a band that tours so extensively, this first set made for an exciting start to the run – especially with the “Forty-Six & 2” Tool cover to close, performed for the ninth time since its debut in 2012. The second set brought the band back to their comfort zone with a “Nothing Too Fancy” jam sandwich, churning a “Divisions” that offered a “Bittersweet Symphony” tease and reappeared to close the encore. “Phil’s Farm” also made a reprise, to finish what was started during the first set, after a “Tribute to the Spinal Shaft.” The encore featured “Resolution” with a tease of The Beatles‘ “Norwegian Wood” that led into the closing “Divisions.”

“Forty Six & 2”


[Video: Gregory Marcus]

Setlist: Umphrey’s McGee | Red Rocks Amphitheatre | Morrison, CO | 6/30/2017

Set 1: Goonville > Prowler > Upward, Higgins > Make It Right, Phil’s Farm > The Triple Wide, Forty-Six & 2

Set 2: Nothing Too Fancy > Divisions[1] > Ringo > Believe the Lie, Tribute to the Spinal Shaft > Phil’s Farm > Nothing Too Fancy

Encore: Resolution[2] > Divisions

[1] with Bittersweet Symphony (The Verve) teases
[2] with Norwegian Wood (The Beatles) tease

With Bokanté and Snarky Puppy on tap on Saturday, Umphrey’s middle show of their three-night run saw a number of sit-ins across the headlining performance. The first set showed of Umphrey’s prowess as a stand-alone ensemble, with “Le Blitz” opening the show after a 66-show gap and later transitioning into “40’s Theme.” With a number of two-song combos composing the first set, another highlight of this first set was the “Yoga Pants” > “White Man’s Moccasins” duo — the performance of “Yoga Pants” marked the 10th time the song had been played, falling after a 35-show gap. For the set-closing number of “Bad Friday,” the group brought out Snarky Puppy’s Chris Bullock on sax and Mike Maher on trumpet, making for a horn-heavy delight ahead of set break and foreshadowing the numerous collaborations during set two. The six-song second was filled with one-off heavy hitters. Snarky Puppy’s percussionists Robert “Sput” Searight and Nate Werth joined the ensemble for the set-opening “JaJunk,” and Roosevelt Collier’s collaboration on steel guitar for the next number, “Hajimemashite,” followed. The second set was primarily filled with well-loved numbers regularly found in Umphrey’s rotation, though notably, Jake Cinninger moved to the keys for “Push the Pigs” ahead of its segue into “1348.”

“Le Blitz”

 “Bad Friday” with Chris Bullock and Mike Maher

[Video: Gregory Marcus]

“JaJunk” with Robert “Sput” Searight and Nate Werth

[Video: aLoogieFakeout420]

“Hajimemashite” with Roosevelt Collier

[Video: Carly Taylor]

Setlist: Umphrey’s McGee | Red Rocks Amphitheatre | Morrison, CO | 7/1/2017

Set 1: Le Blitz > 40’s Theme, Wappy Sprayberry > Crucial Taunt, Yoga Pants > White Man’s Moccasins, Remind Me, Bad Friday[1]

Set 2: JaJunk[2], Hajimemashite[3], Push the Pig[4] > 1348, Mail Package, Draconian

Encore: The Floor

[1] with Chris Bullock on saxophone and Mike Maher on trumpet
[2] with Robert “Sput” Searight and Nate Werth on percussion
[3] with Roosevelt Collier on steel guitar
[4] with Jake on keys

For the final night of the run, after two stellar nights and a warm-up performance by Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers, Umphrey’s McGee closed out their historic three-night Red Rocks run on a high. After the opening sequence of “Nipple Trix” into “Get In The Van” — both songs which hadn’t seen air time since earlier in the year — the group moved through a number of crowd pleasers, including “Wizard Burial Groud” and a closing combination of “Cut Off” into “Ocean Billy.” However, the real show stoppers of the night were the sit-ins by Jennifer Hartswick who lent her unreal vocals first to “Red Barchetta,” Umphrey’s debut of the Rush cover, and later to “Electric Avenue to Hell,” a mash-up of AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell” and Eddy Grant’s “Electric Avenue,” marking the third time the song had been performed live, with its last performance occurring during fall of last year. To close out their three-night Red Rocks extravaganza, Umphrey’s final encore was a “Puppet String” sandwich with “Glory” falling squarely in its center.

“Nipple Trix”

“Red Barchetta” with Jen Hartswick

[Video: Gregory Marcus]

“Electric Avenue To Hell” with Jen Hartswick

[Video: aershko]

Setlist: Umphrey’s McGee | Red Rocks Amphitheatre | Morrison, CO | 7/2/2017

Set 1: Nipple Trix > Get In The Van, Speak Up > Booth Love, Wizard Burial Ground, August, Cut Off > Ocean Billy

Set 2: Attachments, Day Nurse > 2nd Self, Red Barchetta[1], Mulche’s Odyssey, Slacker, Plunger, Electric Avenue to Hell[2]

Encore: Puppet String > Glory > Puppet String

[1] debut, Rush; with Jennifer Hartswick on vocals
[2] with Jennifer Hartswick on vocals

You can enjoy the photos from Umphrey’s first-ever three-night Red Rocks run below if you want to relive some of the magic from this past weekend, courtesy of Josh Huver, Andrew Rios, and Jake Plimack.

Have you checked out the Inside Out With Turner And Seth Podcast episodes with Brendan Bayliss, Chris Mitchell, and Jefferson Waful? Now’s the time.

[Cover photo: Jake Plimack]