Surfin’ into Santa Cruz with Umphrey’s McGee

Umphrey’s McGee


The Catalyst

Santa Cruz, CA


A small yet very enthusiastic crowd welcomed Chicago’s prodigal sons of jam, Umphrey’s McGee, back to the Catalyst night club on Sunday, June 10.  The band delivered right from the start, pumping out their signature brand of jammy prog-rock, interspersed with a couple of ballads, some classic hard rock and a little electronica thrown in there for good measure.




The first set featured the epic opus “Miss Tinkles Overture,” the bittersweet ballad of “Passing”, as well as the old school jammer, “Der Bluten Kat.” 

The band members, who are big Soprano’s fans, paid homage to the series finale with “Peter Gun Theme/Every Breath You Take.”  They closed out the fine set was the crowd pleaser, “Nemo.”

The second set brought the lovely piano-driven tune, “Kimble,” a Beatle-esque “Morning Song,” and then a special guest appearance by Whitfield Crane (Ugly Kid Joe) on vocals for a head banging version of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs.”

The extended jam vehicle “Hurt Bird Bath” followed, clocking in at well over 23 minutes.  “Much Obliged > White Man’s Moccasins” ended the set.

Finally, they encored with “Nopener,” with drummer Kris Meyers leaving his drum kit due to a cut on his hand and stepping into the spotlight for the lead vocal on the loungey number.

Though it was a school night in the surf/tourist/college town, most of the faithful Umphreaks stayed until the very end and were rewarded with good song selections, incendiary playing, and an extremely enjoyable show.


Set 1: The Fuzz* > Miss Tinkle’s Overture*, Passing, Der Bluten Kat > Peter Gun Theme/Every Breath You Take theme > Der Bluten Kat, Nemo
Set 2: Mail Package > Kimble, Morning Song, War Pigs^, Hurt Bird Bath, Much Obliged > White Man’s Moccasins
Encore: Nopener^^

Lettuce Rock opened
* with Padgett’s Profile teases
^ with Whitfield Crane (Ugly Kid Joe) on vocals
^^ lounge version, with Kris on vocals and Jake on drums

setlist from  



all photos by Susan Weiand/