Umphrey’s McGee, Penn’s Peak, Jim Thorpe, PA, January 22, 2017
Story by Christopher Snyder, Photos by Christopher Holland
In the jam band world the phrase “never miss a Sunday show” has become popular over the years. This rang true when Umphrey’s McGee made their way to Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe, PA to perform on January 22nd, 2017.
Nestled in the northeastern mountains of Pennsylvania, Penn’s Peak has become one of the premier venues in the state. (Editor’s note: No kidding! Its website boasts that “Penn’s Peak patrons enjoy a breathtaking overlook of nearby Beltzville Lake, plus a commanding, picturesque 50-mile panoramic view of northeastern Pennsylvania’s Appalachian mountains.”) After twenty years of recording and relentless touring the group is on top of their game. Starting off the evening guitarists, Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger showcased their acoustic guitar skills on the five numbers including a stellar rendition of The Pixies’ “Where Is My Mind?”
You could tell that the band was firing on all cylinders during the first set, especially on “Nothing Too Fancy” that segued smoothly into “Syncopated Strangers.” Percussionist, Andy Farag, along with his counterpart on the drum kit, Kris Myers, showed why together they complement each other so well as the Midwest group dug deep into their catalog with the early 2000s, “Dump City” to close out the first set.
“2×2” was a powerful way to start the second set and got the Umphrey’s McGee faithful excited for what was to come. Ryan Stasik’s smooth bass lines and Joel Cummins’ masterful keyboard at either end of the stage, “Resolution” was one of the many highlights of the night, featuring a tease of The Beatles’ number “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown).” The ever-popular “All in Time” was the perfect way for the jam/rock sextet to finish off the evening. As the band emerged from side stage for the encore, they treated the Pennsylvania crowd to The Police’s “Miss Gradenko” straight into “Nothing Too Fancy.”
The first part of the second set available on pheelinfine1‘s YouTube channel:
With 20 years of performing, Sunday evening showed that Umphrey’s McGee is one of the top jam band in the circuit today.
Gone for Good
Where Is My Mind? (Pixies cover)
The Pequod with Great American reprise
Believe the Lie
Nothing Too Fancy
2 x 2 (into Syncopated Strangers reprise, back to 2 x 2)
All in Time
Miss Gradenko (The Police cover) (followed by ‘Nothing Too Fancy’ reprise)
The second part of the second set available on pheelinfine1‘s YouTube channel:
Check out Kelly Drew’s review of last week’s Umphrey’s show in New Haven.
To submit a review or story for consideration hit us at [email protected]