Umphrey’s jams to North Shore | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Umphrey’s jams to North Shore

the Tahoe World

Brett Saul / Madison House PublicityThe jam band Umphrey's McGee, which performed at Chicago earlier this year, above, will play Monday, Oct. 27 in the Crystal Bay Casino's Crown Room. The cover charge is $23.

Umphrey’s McGee will take the stage at the Crystal Bay Casino at 9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27, at the Crystal Bay Casino. Tickets are $20 in advance and $23 at the door. This show is for people 21 and older. For more information, visit http://www.crystalbaycasino.com.

Umphrey’s McGee is Brendan Bayliss (guitar, vocals), Jake Cinninger (guitar, Moog, vocals), Joel Cummins (keyboards, vocals), Andy Farag (percussion), Kris Myers (drums, vocals) and Ryan Stasik (bass).

Umphrey’s McGee’s latest digital-only release of “Jimmy Stewart 2007” is an ambitious effort to compile a year’s worth of the band’s inspired improvisations into two seamless 70-minute mixtapes. At more than 100 shows a year, Umphrey’s McGee delves into these spontaneous compositions, engaging their fans as the band members feed off one other’s energy. A Zappa-inspired language of body gestures and handsignals allow the band to break structure while creating an entirely new arrangement. As Umphrey’s McGee continues to evolve, each live performance showcases the band’s “Jimmy Stewart” approach to structured improvisation.

The jam crowd hoisted the band up on their shoulders as heroes, heirs to the Phish throne. Fans reveled in Umphrey’s flair for inventive improvisation, incredible covers, and unpredictable moments. The band had also developed an uncanny visual language onstage that includes dozens of unspoken cues ” a happy face, for example, symbolizes a major key, while a sad face indicates a minor one ” that make their signature “jazz odysseys” and “Jimmy Stewarts” legendary on the jam scene. These cues manage to keep things tight and prevent their improv interludes from spiraling into hippie jam orbit. The band retains space, breath, and patience in performances, yet maintain, masterly control in the process.

These days, Umphrey’s spends half the year on the road habitually flooring audiences. Its anything-goes musicianship, humor, and good-nature all make remarkable entertainment. The band shuttles between styles with precision, from straight-up pop and rock to jazz, prog-metal, and classical. If you can name it, chances are Umphrey’s can play it.

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