Umphrey’s McGee Covers Rage Against The Machine’s “Bombtrack” With Dave Watts [Watch]

first_imgLoad remaining images For the second night of Umphrey’s McGee’s triumphant New Year’s Eve celebration to Chicago, the sextet stepped into a larger venue and welcomed support from Colorado funk ensemble The Motet.Although the run started at the smaller Riviera Theatre, last night and the big celebration for the 31st are taking place nearly across the street at the Aragon Ballroom, easily one of the most decorative and ornate venues in the Midwest.Amounting to one large auditorium that is accessible through narrow halls and glittering archways, the walls and balcony are situated to give the large room an outdoor feeling, almost like a renaissance fair. Even the ceiling is painted to mimic the natural glory of the cosmos and night sky, complete with flickering lights for stars.The Motet kicked things off ahead of their 8:00 PM start time and warmed the room up well, despite the constant flowing of cold-bodies filling out the floor and settling the edges of the balcony throughout the hour long set.Bandleader and drummer Dave Watts set a hard-hitting bar for timely drum fills and impeccable rolls that Kris Myers and Andy Farag continued to showcase in the spotlight during the main event.Front man Lyle Divinsky did his best to steal the show, tapping into eccentric dance moves reminiscent of James Brown – spinning, shuffling and swinging his arms as he bounced across the stage. For as wild as his movements were, he often directed the focus to his bandmates, especially if they were soloing.Bassist Garrett Sayers and guitarist Ryan Jalbert, the two longest standing members of the group, were especially tight-knit and continually drove the sound forward, especially in the jam following “Damn!” off their latest release Totem.The horn section, consisting of Gabriel Mervine on trumpet and Drew Sayers on tenor sax, meshed sweeping blankets of sounds effortlessly with the keyboard work of Joey Porter. The trio took complete control of the jam leading up to “Back It Up”, and ended their set with “Closed Mouth Don’t Get Fed” from 2014’s The Motet.Just a half an hour later at 9:30 PM, the lights went down for Umphrey’s McGee. It has been five years since the band has returned to this room, and that is five too many for the die-hard fans of Chicago. Opening with “Mulche’s Odyssey” from the 2004 disc Anchor Drops, which features the coastline of Chicago on Lake Michigan for its cover art.Five minutes into “Mulche’s”, the music took on a light island-tinge and quotes from NWA’s “Dopeman” before sliding into one of the band’s favorite new songs, “Speak Up”, which was debuted exactly one year ago on New Year’s Eve. The 31st play of the tune stayed relatively tame before peaking into an up-funked porno jam and transitioning into Anchor Drops’ title track.By 10:00, guitarist Brendan Bayliss dedicated a 17 minute take on “Phil’s Farm” to a good friend. Bayliss came out of the gate swinging with hot leads and loose runs early. The main jam slowed things down and Joel Cummins took over the transition back into the main theme before Bayliss wrestled the ending back for himself for an early highlight of the show.They debuted a brand new song titled “North Route” and to the glee of several fans, used it to launch a conclusion to the “Nothing Too Fancy” that was left unfinished from the previous night. The song started out with a heavy-handed and squealing lead from Jake Cinninger, as if he were not about to be outdone by Bayliss’ handiwork on “Phil’s Farm”. Check it out here:Cummins took the reins on “Walletsworth” and drove it hard into an ambient piano arpeggio. Cinninger led a solid 1!-2!-3! count jam that fell into “Kula”, an older tune that has gotten more play in 2016 than it has in years – this being its fourth play of the year. To close the set, Dave Watts from The Motet jumped onto Myers’ kit and Myers grabbed a microphone and jumped to the front of the stage to deliver a bone crushing rendition of “Bombtrack” by Rage Against The Machine. This was only the band’s third attempt at “Bombtrack”, and the first in five years or over 620 shows.Watch their cover of “Bombtrack”, streaming below.The second set kicked off exactly thirty minutes later with a straight run through of “The Floor”, followed by the fan favorite “Much Obliged”. Cummins took the off-key jam with some light finger-work before transitioning into a “Hurt Bird Bath” for the record books.At midnight the band moved into “1348” from 2009’s Mantis, with Myers and Farag taking the spotlight and leading the direction with an incredible showcase of percussive sensibility. For the main jam it appeared as though the band put bassist Ryan Stasik on the spot but he remained cool and collected, not letting the tempo or groove escape him before Cinninger started slicing through the sound with his red-hot Strat setup.The music dropped from “1348” into “Slacker” on a dime, complete with Pink Floydian-esque echo jam over a relentless dancebeat courtesy the drum machine Myers. “Miami Virtue” brought the set back around to “1348” to close the set at 12:35 AM.The standalone encore of “JaJunk” was delivered heavy and with force, including teases of AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck”. As the only song of the encore, Umphrey’s McGee left the crowd begging for more. The New Year’s Run concludes tonight with three sets and includes special guest horn section, Mad Dog’s Filthy Little Secret led by long-time friend of the band, Michael “Mad Dog” Mavridoglou.Check out the setlist and a full gallery below, courtesy of Must Have Media.Setlist: Umphrey’s McGee | Aragon Ballroom | Chicago, IL | 12/30/16Set 1: Mulche’s Odyssey[1], Speak Up, Anchor Drops > Phil’s Farm, North Route[2] > Nothing Too Fancy[3], Walletsworth, Kula, Bombtrack[4]Set 2: The Floor, Much Obliged > Hurt Bird Bath, Conduit, 1348 > Slacker, Miami Virtue > 1348Encore: JaJunkNotes:[1] with Dopeman (N.W.A.) quote[2] debut, original[3] completing 12.29.2016[4] with Dave Watts on drums, Kris on vocalslast Bombtrack 01.29.2011 (620 shows)* = w/ Dave Watts of The Motetlast_img