Tony Mueller

Two Nights in Wisconsin with Umphrey's McGee

Music Scene Media
Apr 12, 2024
3 min read

Umphrey’s McGee made their well-anticipated return to the cheese state early this spring. They started the 2 night endeavor off just down the street from the famous Lambeau Field in Green Bay. This was the first time Umphrey's brought their awe-inspiring production to the new venue, the Epic Event Center. Next up was a journey to their home away from home, Madison. They’ve been performing here since their first tours 25 years ago and have since been named honorary citizens of the city. Personally, I always love when they play the Sylvee as it is only a few short blocks from my home. When they jam in Madison, it’s always a peak performance.

Love was in the air in Titletown late Wednesday April 10th. The fans filled into the building, eager to set it up as their home for the evening. As everybody took in the sights and got their beverages ready, members of Umphrey’s were preparing a setlist that was equally unique and heavy. There was plenty of space to dance, and the band took their places. Set 1 had a new personal favorite, “Water”, along with a few familiar songs, and even a John Scofield cover. As everybody came down off the high of the first set, the love in the air was becoming apparent. During the set break, a very eager-looking man told me he requested his girlfriend’s favorite song be played, and asked if I could try to photograph his marriage proposal. Luckily, “Mantis” was the opener for set 2 and I tried my hardest to get a good shot in the dark crowd knowing they would be happy with the results no matter what. As I captured a moment they’ll remember forever, I made some new friends along the way. One thing that’s for sure is nobody regretted driving up to Green Bay that night. It certainly isn’t Umphrey’s biggest market but it ended up being an intimate show with lots to be happy about. 

On to Madison we go for a Thursday night throwdown. Set 1 started as the crowd experienced chilling lows and thrilling highs as guitarist Jake Cinninger and vocalist Brendan Bayliss guided everyone through classics like “Wife Soup” and “Crucial Taunt”. Powering past a few more great jams and on to the second set, we were met with a dominant trajectory as they played heaters like “Wizard Burial Ground” and “Draconian”. They then sprinkled some sweetness over the crowd with Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl”. Pumping on to a “40’s Theme” closer, Wisconsin was left screaming for more. I guess they’ll have to pop up to Minnesota if they want to keep the feeling fresh, but the tour must continue on! These guys never stop, and that’s why we love them. Don’t hesitate to check them out real soon!

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