Sunday, May 03, 2009


Friday, May 1

Rob writes:

With the recent crowning of Umphrey's McGee as our favorite band, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to meet up with some old friends at one of their concerts in New Orleans. So, I left school Friday afternoon at 3pm and drove straight down to the Crescent City, arriving at Ninja Sushi around 9:30 to meet up with Mike and some of his diving buddies.

Mike's a long time friend, and we both visited New Orleans for the first time together in 1996 to see Phish at Jazz Fest. (We weren't so into the rest of the festival back in those days.) How ironic that here we were again, in New Orleans to see a hard-rocking jam-band in the middle of Jazz Fest, pretty much blowing off the rest of the festival.

It was also great to get a groove on with Greg and Ellen from San Francisco.

Long-time readers may recognize Ellen as the MC at our San Francisco wedding party back in 2005.

As for the band, they were in fine form, as usual. With this being a "late night" show during the 2nd weekend of Jazz Fest, the music started really late (2:15am) and ended really early (5:15am). That's how we roll in New Orleans!

This show featured a notable change in the band's stage arrangement. Traditionally, Joel (the keyboard player) has always been on the left side of the stage, but now he's moved over to the right side, leaving Jake all alone to the left.

Brendan is now more center-stage, instead of to the far right like he used to be. This new arrangement has a certain logic to it, since Brendan is the main singer/songwriter and pretty much the heart and soul of the band.

As usual, Jake and Brendan blew up some furious dual-guitar crescendos.

With this having been such a festive late-night show, I'll make no attempt at a review, other than to mention that they played 2 covers I'd never heard them do before: "That's All" by the Phil Collins version of Genesis, and "Can't You Hear Me Knocking" by the Rolling Stones.

Fri, May 1st, 2009
House of Blues
New Orleans, Louisiana

Set I
Gulf Stream >
Andy's Last Beer >
The Triple Wide* >
That's All (Genesis) >
Turn and Run
Smell the Mitten**
Much Obliged$ >
The Floor

Set II
#Miss Tinkle's Overture
Hangover ->
Soul Food II >
Cemetery Walk >
Cemetery Walk II
Push the Pig$$
All in Time

Can't You Hear Me Knocking (Rolling Stones)

* with Baba O'Riley jams
** with Stairway to Heaven tease
$ with Young Lust and Voodoo Chile teases
# with Gz & Hustlas jam, playing along with PA music
$$ with Immigrant Song intro and Miss Tinkle's Overture teases


The next morning after a few hours sleep, I hit the road without seeing any more of New Orleans, during one of my favorite music festivals. Why would I do that? Umphrey's McGee was playing again the next night in my new hometown, Oxford, and I sure wasn't going to miss that!

Check out the Oxford show.

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