On Friday night, as ominous grey clouds hung overhead, Umphrey’s McGee opened their three-night run at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre with help from Spafford.
The night began with an opening set by Spafford, the rising Arizona jam quartet that’s accompanied Umphrey’s on several runs of shows over the past few years. The band kicked off their Red Rocks set with the debut of a new song, “Be Strange”, followed by another 2019-vintage original, “Dirtbath”. Yet another newer tune, “Comfortable”, came next, marking its 12th live performance since it was debuted the day before “Dirtbath” back in February. Next, Spafford welcomed saxophonist Jason Singer to the stage to augment a version of one of their go-to songs, “Electric Taco Stand”. From there, Spafford kept the new tunes coming with another debut, “Pretty Mama”, before closing out their supporting set with live staple “All In”.
Between Spafford’s performance and the UM main event, the clouds finally opened up, pelting Red Rocks with heavy rain and lightning that prompted venue staff to briefly evacuate the venue. Once the worst of the weather cleared, the crowd was welcomed back to their seats for two full sets of Umphrey’s McGee (with an extended curfew so as not to limit the festivities).
Umphrey’s took the stage for their first of two sets just after 9:15 p.m. local time with “Roctopus” followed by a run through prog-rock composition, “#5”. it’s you track “Seasons” was up next, followed by an always-welcome run through “The Fussy Dutchman”. “Syncopated Strangers” got the call next, followed by a powerful pairing of “Rocker Part 2” and “Red Tape” to close out set one.
Umphrey’s set two kicked off with recent go-to, “The Silent Type”, off last year’s it’s not us. From there, the band moved into a roaring take on longtime live staple, “Ringo”, followed by successive performances of “Cemetary Walk” and “Cemetary Walk II”. From there, the band welcomed special guest vocalist Kanika Moore, who sings with UM bassist Ryan Stasik in his Doom Flamingo side project, for their first-ever rendition of Pink Floyd‘s “Have A Cigar”. Finally, Umphrey’s tore into fan-favorite “Draconian” to cap their second set of the night as a mist of rain continued to fall on the gathered masses.
Umphrey’s McGee w/ Kanika Moore – “Have A Cigar” [Pink Floyd cover]
[Video: Bryan Austin]
The band still had a few more tricks up their sleeves when they returned for their encore. After kicking off with “Nemo”, they executed a segue into “In The Kitchen” (with a “Smooth Criminal tease thrown in) before flowing back into “Nemo” to cap an eventful first night on the Rocks.
— Umphrey’s McGee (@umphreysmcgee) June 22, 2019
Below, you can check out galleries of Umphrey’s McGee and Spafford’s performance from the first night of Umphrey’s Red Rocks 2019 courtesy of photographer Bill McAlaine.
Umphrey’s McGee continues their Red Rocks weekend tonight, Saturday, June 22nd, with a Turkuaz-supported performance in Morrison. As with Friday night’s show, the performance will be webcast via TourGigs. For more information on Umphrey’s McGee’s upcoming shows, head to the band’s website here.
Setlist: Umphrey’s McGee | Red Rocks | Morrison, CO | 6/21/19
Set One: Roctopus, #5, Seasons, The Fussy Dutchman, Syncopated Strangers, Rocker Part 2, Red Tape
Set Two: The Silent Type, Ringo, Cemetary Walk, Cemetary Walk II, Have A Cigar*, Draconian
Encore: Nemo > In The Kitchen > Nemo
*Pink Floyd cover, with Kanika Moore on vocals
Setlist: Spafford | Red Rocks | Morrison, CO | 6/21/19
Set: Be Strange, Dirtbath, Comfortable, Electric Taco Stand*, Pretty Mama, All In
*with Jason Singer on saxophone