Friday the 13th lived up to its nightmarish reputation for many fans looking for a ticket to the sold out Umphreyâ€™s McGee show at the Georgia Theatre. People could be seen crowding the door of the theatre all day holding one pointer finger high in the air. For those unfamiliar with the jam band scene, this is the universal sign for â€œI need a ticket, and am probably willing to pay a lot for it.â€
Umphreyâ€™s McGee is known for their extended jams, seamless song transitions and ever-changing setlists. They have a close relationship with their fan base, and can usually be spotted hanging out with show goers before and after the show.
The show started at 9:10 p.m. and ended at 12:15 a.m. with a 15 minute set break. Umphrey’s started with a jam that instantly had the crowd dancing. The overall vibe of the show can be summed up in two words: dance party. Highlights from the first set include a 35-minute “Cemetery Walk I “> “Nemo” > “Cemetery Walk II.” Every aspect of the band’s talent was displayed in this portion of the show, from virtuosic guitar playing to mellow keyboard licks. The first set ended with”Pay the Snucka,” a song where the band makes fun of each other and constantly changes the lyrics, a crowd favorite to say the least.
After a set break, the band went right back into the dance party by opening the second set with a 15-minute rendition of “Wappy Sprayberry.” Those who were unfamiliar with the band’s large repertoire were probably more familiar with the second set, which included an extended “In the Kitchen.” The crowd really got amped up when Umphreyâ€™s played their first cover of the night. I donâ€™t think there was a single person not singing when the first chorus of Marshall Tucker Band’s â€œCanâ€™t You Seeâ€ rang out.
The second set just a minutes before midnight, but there was still more music to come. When Umphrey’s came back out for the encore, their close relationship with the fans was apparent when guitarist Brendan Bayliss said, â€œThis girl wants to hear ‘All in Time,’ so we are going to play it.â€ Whether they planned on playing it or not, the song is definitely one of their most popular songs, and they had the crowd in the palm of their hands for another 18 minutes. The show lived up to all the hype, and Athens is sure to see them back around here.