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Umphrey’s McGee at Summer Stage- Ny, Ny

Eye level with the lighting rig that hovers over Central Park’s Summer Stage is an outcrop of rock that serves as the cheap seats. Actually, they are free. While not technically in the venue, the sound is good and there is room to dance. I sat on the Manhattan Schist with Ignatius Riley, Island Girl and her friend. We assumed tickets were still available but unlike other Summer Stage events, this was not free. This and a handful of other gigs help subsidize the big acts. Instead, we decided to make a donation to the city park department while listening to the music.

Aqueous opened the show and they seem a great match for Umphrey’s. Self-described as “Groove Rock,” they brought a fusion element that feels like a hybrid of jam band, Steely Dan, and Bob James (his funky/ fusion stuff of course). We were there early enough to catch their soundcheck and their short set. Although I’m not super familiar with their catalog, I can say it was a nice segue into Umphrey’s.

Someone we know is waiting to hear about an extra for #umphreysmcgee #52showsayear

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Early into the set, they faced some tech issues we couldn’t detect from a distance which prompted a delay. Later research indicates guitar rig issues. They carried on with minimal issue till the monsoon. Dark clouds started to gather which at first thought would be a nice backdrop for their dazzling light show. Weather apps told a different story. This was a few tracks into the second set and we decided to leave and get dinner just as the downpour came.

We retreated downtown for a meal at one of NYC’s hidden gems I was happy to share. The meal was great and just as most shows, being with great people is the key. Umphrey’s is still on my list for great shows and I hope next time they are weather proof. In my research, I found they are unlucky with NYC weather. They were snowed out of a 3-night run at the Beacon and snow has also impacted their Nokia/ Best Buy/ Playstation Theater shows. Here is the setlist:

  1. October Rain
  2. Bridgeless
  3. Miss Tinkle’s Overture
  4. 2 x 2
  5. Example 1
  6. Dump City (> ‘Bridgeless’ reprise)

    Set 2:

  7. Plunger
  8. North Route
  9. Utopian Fir
  10. Driven to Tears (The Police cover)
  11. Preamble
  12. Mantis
  13. The Triple Wide (Joel Cummins song) (> ‘Mantis’ reprise)

    Encore:

  14. Rocker Part 2

 

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