Written by Gabriel Iriarte
Photography by Gabriel Iriarte
As The Big Weekend rocked on in Chicago, we were able to head to the Aragon Ballroom for Umphrey’s Mcgee on Friday, October 6.
The Aragon Ballroom, one of Chicago’s larger venues, is home to a huge stage, lots of dancing space, and balconies with incredible views! A true spectacle, it was my first time seeing them at an indoor event, and the light show from the balcony was some of the best I have ever seen! Compared to my other experiences of Umphrey’s shows at Northerly Island and Summer Camp, this performance completely blew me away.
But beyond the light show was some of the best heavy, funky, rock ‘n’ roll that we heard all weekend. Not only was the previous night at Papadosio and Emancipator incredibly melodic, but the first set of Umphrey’s was a swarm of up-tempo jam and mind-bending solos that made the sold-out crowd at the Aragon dance their feet through the floor.
With songs like “Dump City,” “Maybe Someday,” “Partyin’ Peeps,” “Bright Lights, Big City,” and “Syncopated Stranger,” both old Umphers and new fans alike could spread some ‘Umph Love’ through their funky dance moves and kind gestures.
The second set did mellow out a bit, as the band opened up with tracks like “Forks” and they played others like “In the Kitchen,” and “Women, Wine and Song.” However, they slowly, yet consistently built up the tempo until finishing with “August,” and then encoring with “Live and Let Die.”
However, that still didn’t satisfy the never-ending roar of the crowd! As one audience member stated, “Growing up in South Bend and having an older brother who is an Umph Head, it’s amazing seeing them live and [realizing] how much they have grown as a band and show!” Umphrey’s threw down a remarkable set and we are so grateful to The Big Weekend for allowing us to experience the magic.
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