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Music: Umphrey’s McGee

By Dave Tobias · April 14th, 2009 · CityBeat Recommends

Umphrey’s McGee has developed into one of the heavyweights of the neo-Jam-band scene. They were formed in the late ’90s at the University of Notre Dame, quickly moved to their new home base of Chicago and exploded onto the scene in the early ’00s with their improvisational wonder workings.

Read our full feature on the band here.

In talking with bassist Ryan Stasik, he self-describes their sound as “distinctly Umphrey’s”, which can mean anything from 20-minute improvisational jams, to face-melting two-minute guitar solos to succinct four minute Pop/Rock gems.

What they have become most known for is their extended live sessions, where audience members groove to a combination of light and music unlike anything else currently being explored in the music world, and albums that put songs explored in these sessions on record.

Mantis, the band’s latest studio effort, represents the most stylistically diverse output in the Umphrey’s catalogue and one that is very reminiscent of the times in which we live. Darker and more emotionally heavy than their past works, Mantis really represents the musical establishment of Umphrey’s McGee as more than just the jam band scene’s torchbearers.

They play at the Taft Theatre at 7:30 p.m.



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