Snowy Sweetness: Umphrey's McGee brought Chicago heat to the Music Farm

Image by Flickr user OpenEye Umphrey's McGee at a New York City show.

Chicago Based Progressive Rock Jam Band, Umphrey’s McGee, brings the Heat at The Music Farm.

They have to play In the Kitchen tonight. It makes perfect sense; how could they not? (Me - before walking into the show)

As I embraced the Friday night snow storm on February 12th 2010, I thought nothing could match the all too surreal feeling of actually seeing snow stick to the ground in Charleston. Even though it’s rare to see King Street covered in a white, glistening blanket; I stand corrected.

Attending Umphrey’s McGee at The Music Farm was a non-stop thrill ride of methodically shaped and well defined riffs and transitions from musical geniuses and put me back in my place and on my ass. According the National Weather Service; we have a 1 in 3000 chance of seeing the snows similar to the 1989 “Christmas Snow” that followed Hurricane Hugo. What are the chances of seeing Umphrey’s McGee cover Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb; well maybe not 1 in 3000, but pretty damn close.

For the Chicago based band to stroll into the snow covered Holy City; play one of the best shows I have bared witness to; encompasses the simple notion that...- Life is pretty sweet.

Opening with Cemetery Walk, it was time to rock and roll and the band dove into a seemingly endless first set; In The Kitchen> 2nd Self, FF> Walletsworth, Cemetery Walk II, Made to Measure, Prowler > In The Kitchen. When chatting with local fans during set break; with regards to recent shows they had seen of Umphrey’s McGee; Charleston’s was unlike any they have experienced.

“It’s energy; we have seen them a lot, but tonight is different. We are seeing more interaction and they are feeding off of this crowd’s energy.”

As the second set began, things got serious and the ever present power of this band shined; Front Porch, Mantis Ghetts, Comfortably Numb, The Linear, Ringo, 40's Theme. Encore: Pay the Snucka.

Describing the experience of a concert at The Music Farm is difficult. It’s different for every concert. This venue’s atmosphere has the ability to shape and mold concerts into something more than just a piece of paper that says a SET-LIST. Getting lost in a whirlwind maze of intentional musical notes, transitions that seem impossible and finding a light at the end of the tunnel; it’s priceless. These guys are good.

Umphrey’s McGee has a new album, Mantis, and is available now. The entire album contains never before played songs and was recorded over a 20 month period in Chicago. It’s a must buy.

Check out The Music Farm for more information on upcoming concerts in the area. And maybe I need to stop wearing Chacos to concerts? Especially when it is snowing.