Umphrey’s McGee kicked off Labor Day weekend with vigor in Asbury Park, NJ at the Stone Pony Summer Stage on Friday night, and brought plenty of their delicious multi-genre blend of jamming. North Carolina’s The Big Something opened the evening.
The Big Something delivered their edgy jam rock to start the evening. The band consists of Nick MacDaniels (vocals), Doug Marshall (bass), Josh Kagel (keys/trumpet), Casey Cranford (sax), Jesse Hensley (guitar) and Ben VInograd (drums). They brought plenty of southern charm with their intense mix of alternative, metal and rock jams.
Umphrey’s McGee took the stage as the sun began to set, making for a natural picturesque backdrop. Originally from South Bend, Indiana, the band members include Jake Cinninger (guitar), Brendan Bayliss (guitar), Ryan Stasik (bass), Joel Cummins (Keyboard), Kris Myers (drums) and Andy Farag (percussion).
Umphrey’s McGee started the show off with new tune “Unsung Hero” into “Go to Hell.” “Ride on Pony” and “Cut Off” went into “Eat” and were all most-recently played in February and March 2019. “The Linear” into “Hangover” was a great lead in for “Muff II: The Revenge,” a Tool cover played on the same day that Tool released a long awaited new album. “Glory” closed out the set strong.
Set two opened up with “Little Gift,” last played March 23, 2019. Umphrey’s staples “It Doesn’t Matter,” “Domino Theory,” “Example 1” and “Educated Guess” were up next and did not disappoint. Jam vehicle “Hajimemashite” into “End Of The Road” had some great improvisational moments. “Fourty Six & 2,” another Tool cover, proceeded and was last played December 15, 2018. “Puppet String” was a tasty encore to end the night.
The band was without their long time lighting designer, Jefferson Waful, who retired suddenly last week because of health problems. Lighting crew chief Elliott Little has taken on Waful’s duties temporarily while the band finds a permanent replacement, and did a great job tonight.
Set One: Unsung Hero -> Go to Hell, Ride On Pony, Cut Off > Eat, The Linear > Hangover, Muff II: The Revenge, Glory.
Set Two: Little Gift, It Doesn’t Matter, Domino Theory, Example 1, Educated Guess, Hajimemashite > End Of The Road, Forty Six & 2.
Encore: Puppet String.