This is the strangest Umphrey’s McGee show I have attended. Late night Jazz Fest show, with Stevie Wonder performing earlier in the evening at the Fair Grounds.
The opening Jazz Odyssey starts off with a cool e-drum patch by Meyers, then picking up speed with a cool transition into Tinkle’s, which has a bouncy jam section that is reminiscent of The Police. This is the only time I have seen Pay the Snucka broken up into three separate parts, since Pt. I & Pt. II are usually played sequentially. Ringo and Higgins both have extended jams that deliver. During the first set, I noticed someone dressed up as Andy Kaufman’s Tony Clifton character. I thought that was strange, but didn’t think much of it.
The second set is where it got strange. Instead of a jam out of Bridgeless, Joel introduces Tony Clifton, who then comes out and roasts the band and the crowd. The energy in the room changed instantly with some of the audience laughing along, others booing and the rest just in disbelief. The band then starts a generic funk groove while some scantily dressed women join Tony. More weirdness ensues, one of the women attempts a striptease and then Wade comes out from backstage and carries her off.
Finally, the music resumes. The dub Breathe gets spacey and gets the crowd lifted off into another galaxy. Reintroduced into their live shows at the end of 2007, Wappy Sprayberry keeps the dance groove going. This is a fun early reworked version. There is a nice synth led groove by Joel in the jam with Brendan teasing the Triple Wide before transitioning into GYMRH out of nowhere.
A fun show to listen to. Don’t skip the Tony Clifton banter.