By Ryan Cartwright
It’s the most wonderful time of the year. The time for NYE festivals and concert runs and this year Denver is definitely getting something special, with three nights of Umphrey’s McGee to close out the year strong. The Chicago jam band traditionally plays a NYE run in their hometown, however, they’ve chosen to come to Denver and slay at The Fillmore, so this is a rare opportunity not to be missed. They’ve been crushing the concert and festival circuit all year so let’s take a look back on some highlights of 2017 You’ll see why you should enter the new year with them and scoop tickets after the learning experience!
Just in case you catch a real serious case of FOMO, Umphrey’s McGee records a bunch of their shows (some of them in full) for your viewing pleasure. We’ll be dropping a chronology of them here to illustrate their success this year and indicate why you should make your way on down to The Fillmore for the NYE run. For example, here they are slaying at the legendary Tabernacle in Atlanta, GA. The lights roll and the funk is slow and smooth but also has moments where the energy rises and that’s a pretty good intro for what you can expect on the 29th – 31st.
Few things say debauchery like Las Vegas and St. Patrick’s Day. When the two overlap that’s a recipe for downright insanity. But it feels like it’s missing something. Oh that’s right, a dose of UM!. Here the band takes two sources of madness for a ride of their own, with a sweet cover of Springsteen’s ‘I’m On Fire,’ proving that they do quite well with the tunes of others as well as their own original material.
Showing no signs of slowing down, UM made their way down to Great Stage Park in Tennessee for one of the best known festivals in the world. That’s right, I’m talking about Bonnaroo. Nothing like some jams and fun in the sun. Or at least it would be in the sun but they played at night. But hey, when you’ve earned the level of clout that they have, you deserve to wait for your fans to show out in full force and that’s exactly what happened. Best of all, the full set is available to feast your ears upon.
I think it’s fair to say that everyone within a 500 mile radius of Denver knows about Red Rocks and how incredible its shows are. No matter who comes through to play, it’s always breathtaking. UM are no strangers to that feeling. Here you can see them busting out ‘Higgins,’ with a woozy light show illuminating the canyon walls to create those magical moments.
UM returned home to Chicago to play at the Huntington Bank Pavilion in September, making up for a former show could best be described as a bit of a ‘washout.’ This show was anything but however, as the lights flare and the jams feeling groovy and soulful. When you’re catering to your hometown crowd, it doesn’t get any more better than this.
Now things are really getting spooky! UM rolled through Suwanee for some Halloween madness and synced their loops to the hoops at Hulaween. They did two sets which you can view in all their glory below. One of the best light shows so far in 2017, according to this author, and although their is plenty to hear, the best part comes early on when they tease the melody from Ozzy Osbourne’s ‘Crazy Train,’ letting their audience know that they’re in for a wild ride.
That’s pretty much where they leave their saga this year. But it’s been an incredible run and it isn’t over yet. Umphrey’s McGee is going to come and steam roll The Fillmore in a couple of weeks and it would definitely behoove you to join them. You can buy tickets to the corresponding dates in the links below. Seriously, there’s not going to be a finer way to enter the new year and then do it all over again. Venture on below and take the leap. You won’t regret it.
12/29: With Aqueous
12/30: With Eminence Ensemble
12/31: Solo dolo
- All Ages and Vibes Welcome at Amoramora’s NYE Show at The Fox Theatre
- Bass Physics and Exmag Bring Soulful Funk to Cervantes’ on 1/20