Observer Scene | Monday, September 6, 2004
Saturday’s night’s concert at Mishawaka Brewing Company demonstrated Umphrey’s McGee’s growing fame.The bar sold around 1,250 tickets to the concert. The turnout for the band’s annual show at the club, where they have played for the last four years, was a substantial improvement on the 800 tickets sold for last year’s show.Lately the band has claimed Chicago as their home, but they changed their tune for the show at Brew Co.”We’re Umphrey’s McGee, and we’re thrilled to be playing here,” said singer Jake Cinninger. “We’re from, well, here.”The concert started at 7:00 with opening band the OM Trio. Umphrey’s McGee played a characteristically long set until nearly midnight.The first half started slowly, but by the end of the show the band had hit their groove with perfectly synchronized improvisation. The light show was as colorful as always and perfectly suited to the music.In addition to playing their own hits, the band played covers of several hit songs from other artists, including Paul Simon’s “50 Way to Leave Your Lover” and Van Halen’s “Hot For Teacher.”Like most jam bands, Umphrey’s McGee is rarely played on the radio, and many of the fans were not familiar with a lot of the band’s music. Nevertheless, students came for the renowned instrumental performances and enjoyed the show. “They’re one of the best bands for improvisation out there, I already knew that,” said Drew Pittman, a senior who works at WVFI. “It was insane.””It was awesome,” said senior Rashelle Simpson.”The show overall was excellent. The fans were great and the band was even better,” said senior Wyetta Palmby.The band’s tour schedule will take them all over the country in the next few months, but curious fans can catch their show in Bloomington, Ind. on Oct. 7.