Umphrey's Rocks Peoria
So I realize that I'm supposed to have a certain amount of objectivity when reviewing a show. Having said that, this article is going to be gushing, simply because I can't find anything wrong with the show last night. Simply put, it was spectacular. Umphrey's McGee on the Riverfront in Peoria, once again with a special guest. After a funky "Push the Pig" opener, they cruised through favorite "Jajunk" into a solid 35-minute stretch of various old and new tunes "Anchor Drops", "Kabump", and "2nd Self" before Stanley Jordan joined them for old-school classic "Great American" and a mind-blowing cover of David Bowie and John Lennon's "Fame".
Set two began with a blistering, unfinished "Bridgeless", followed by one of the songs I was really hoping to see and saw for the first time: "Get in the Van". It's a weird little song and it's just so great, I don't even really know how to describe it. Stanley Jordan came back onstage for one of my personal favorites, the bouncy "Much Obliged" and a very intense cover of "Lenny" by Stevie Ray Vaughan. They finished set two strong with a reggae blast in "Utopian Fir" that included a Snoop Dogg cover ("Ain't No Fun") before breaking down "Rocker Part 2" back into "Jajunk" before the encore. Ahh....the encore.
When the opening notes of "Resolution" got everybody grooving, it was already good enough. But then they jammed my favorite Beatles song during it ("Norwegian Wood"), followed by another first for me, "Soul Food II". And just when I thought it was over, they played "Africa" by Toto, one of the covers I never thought I'd see. My night was complete.
So again, sorry to be such a fan about it, but I really can't think of anything wrong with the show. Sitting outside on a picnic table with two of my best friends drinking 312 watching Umphrey's McGee on a Sunday night. Seems alright to me.