By: MaryAnn Jackson
The Norva is featuring the progressive rock jam band Umphree’s McGee, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2011 at 9 p.m. Tickets can be purchased backstage at The Jewish Mother, or purchased via Internet for around $20. This live musical performance is really something to experience.
For those unfamiliar with jam bands, a jam band is a musical group that has live performances in which there are extended improvisations (jams) and grooves that cross typical boundaries of rock music. Jam bands sound great on their albums, but seeing them live is really an experience Umphree’s McGee is one of those bands that take a lot of pride in their completely improvisational jams. You never know what’s coming next in an Umphree’s McGee set; you could be listening to any of their songs in a live performance and then suddenly be teased into another well known non-Umphree’s McGee song that you would be pleasantly surprised to hear.
Umphree’s McGee was a band first formed at the University of Notre Dame. The first guitarist/vocalist was Brendan Bayliss, bassist, Ryan Stasik, keyboardist Joel Cummins, and drummer Mike Mirro. The band was formed with the merging of two Notre Dame rock bands. After becoming pretty popular and releasing their first album, “Greatest Hits Album III,” the band added on a new member, percussionist Andy Farag. In September of 2000, guitarist Jake Cinniger was added to the band, and really set the band up to become what it is today. Jake brought a sound to the group that really differentiated them from other bands along with a mass amount of original music, and really boosted their popularity in the Chicago area and beyond.
Since the band’s formation, twelve albums have been released. The most recent album “Death by Stereo,” was released just this year, and is really one of their most musically intriguing albums yet. The band really brings a different vibe to their music in this album and is something worth listening to. One of their more popular songs on the new album, “Death by Stereo” is “Miami Vice”, a song that would really intrigue your musical taste buds, no matter what your musical taste may be.
Overall, seeing an Umphree’s show is really an amazing experience; and unlike seeing many other bands perform. Most that are fans of Umphree’s McGee have been fans for a very long time, and really know how different and fascinating their music and live performances are. Umphree’s McGee fans love going to their shows because you never really know what is going to happen next in each of their set lists. Whether you are interested in hip hop, rap, or even country music, going to see an Umphree’s McGee show is an experience that everyone could enjoy. All music lovers, love at least one kind of music, and Umphree’s McGee puts a little of it all on the table. So, get ready to come out to the Norva this weekend and spread some Umphree’s McGee jam on your musical toast!