Scrolling Headlines:

MassPIRG kicks off for the fall semester -

September 22, 2016

UMass Resistance Studies Initiative hosts activist and author George Lakey -

September 22, 2016

UMass field hockey readies for tough tests against Stanford, Boston College -

September 22, 2016

Calling the shots: everything you need to know about the flu vaccine -

September 22, 2016

UMass assistant Professor speaks about oppression of American Indians -

September 22, 2016

Astronomy department head hosting sundial and sky-watching event -

September 22, 2016

UMass football looks to pull off upset against Mississippi State Saturday -

September 22, 2016

Cyr: Comis? Ford? Here’s how I would handle the UMass quarterback situation this weekend against Mississippi State -

September 22, 2016

An unofficial presidential debate drinking game for the unruly masses -

September 22, 2016

Stop sweating the small stuff -

September 22, 2016

In defense of being uncomfortable -

September 22, 2016

Please go to sleep -

September 22, 2016

VIDEO – ‘Life in the Dollhouse: Wes Anderson and the Dollhouse Aesthetic’ -

September 22, 2016

Student struck by car near UMass’ Mullins Center -

September 21, 2016

President Anthony Vitale and Vice President Nick Rampone anticipate productive year at SGA -

September 21, 2016

Symposium hosts discussion on safety for journalism students -

September 21, 2016

Andrew Ford, Ross Comis still battling for UMass football’s starting QB position -

September 21, 2016

UMass tight end Adam Breneman becoming latest to thrive in Whipple’s offense -

September 21, 2016

UMass men’s soccer gets set for another difficult road test against Vermont -

September 21, 2016

What I learned from wearing nail polish -

September 21, 2016

Umphrey’s to jam out Sunday at the Calvin

Umphrey’s McGee is one of the bigger names in the jam band scene these days. As a progressive rock band, they have managed to perfect their jamming formula, which will more than likely be in its top form when they perform this Sunday at the Calvin Theatre.

The band has gathered a devoted following since they formed in 1997. With five studio albums already under their belt in addition to a number of live albums, Umphrey’s McGee has become what the Washington Post calls “rock’s undisputed lord of sonic shape-shifting.”

Umphrey’s McGee’s latest album, “Mantis,” was released in Jan. 2009. The album is a first for Umphrey’s, as they composed the material for the CD completely in the studio. Normally, they ‘road test’ most of their songs at live performances before they make it to the studio, but this is not the case with their new album.

The band is famous for its “Jimmy Stewarts,” live improvisational jams that they play at nearly every concert. The jams are completely original and rarely include any planned elements. Sometimes these jams will become full-fledged songs if the band really likes what they come up with, as in the case of “Ocean Billy,” “Bridgeless” and “#5.”

The band members have remained consistent since they first played together at the University of Notre Dame on a cold December day in 1997. The band started off with guitarist and vocalist Brendan Bayliss, keyboardist Joel Cummins, bassist Ryan Stasik, and drummer Mike Mirro.

After only 8 months together, they released their first studio album, “Greatest Hits Vol. III,” and shortly thereafter added a fifth member, percussionist Andy Farag. In September of 2000, guitarist Jake Cinninger, previously of Ali Baba’s Tahini, joined Umphrey’s McGee, bringing with him a new heaviness to the band’s sound.

In 2002, Umphrey’s, as they are often affectionately called by fans, had the honor of being one of e bands to perform at the first Bonnaroo, playing to one of their biggest crowds to date and selling more CDs than any other artist there. The band was invited back to Bonnaroo in 2004, where they played for an even larger crowd, and has played numerous Lollapalooza shows.

The band almost broke up in late 2002, when Mirro left to attend medical school. Farag reviewed hundreds of tapes, however, before finally settling on drummer Kris Myers to replace Mirro.

Currently the band is touring America, selling out shows coast to coast and jamming all across the country. Umphrey’s McGee will be playing throughout New England until March 5th, when they will be moving the tour to Ohio.

The band will also offer a $20 voucher for purchase at the show on Sunday that, 10 minutes after the completion of the concert, will be redeemable for a live album from the show. This is a ritual the band has had since 2003.

Umphrey’s is relatively good-natured live. They try to make their shows as humorous as possible. With lights, image screens and sometimes even laser shows, the band is bound to put on a good show this Sunday.

Umphrey’s McGee will be playing on Sunday at the Calvin Theatre  in Northampton, Mass. The show starts at 8 p.m., and tickets are $21. Tickets are still available on the Iron Horse Entertainment Group’s website, iheg.com.

Tappan Parker can be reached at rtparker@student.umass.edu.

Leave A Comment