Great American Music Hall
San Francisco, CA
October 31, 2011
Though only half of the 7 Walkers cast came out in costumes, there was no doubt that the celebration of the Halloween festivities was in full swing when they took the stage at San Fran’s Great American Music Hall.
On this night, Reed Mathis (Tea Leaf Green) — the bassist who is present on the self-titled album from 2010 — would fill out the low end duties alongside the 7 Walkers staples: legendary drummer and Grateful Dead co-founder Bill Kreutzmann, guitarist/funk crooner Papa Mali and multi-instrumentalist Matt Hubbard.
Susan Weiand was on the scene to capture the scenes from the event through her lens.
I: Space > Someday You’ll See, Junco Partner, King Cotton Blues, I Know You Rider, Nobody’s Fault But Mine, Walk on Guided Splinters, He’s Gone, Goin Down The Road
II: Positively 4th St*, New Orleans Crawl, Bird Song, Werewolves of London, Sue From Bogalusa,
7 Walkers, Evangeline, Bottle Up and Go
Encore: Big Railroad Blues, Wharf Rat
*Performed with Bob Dylan impersonator
October 29, 2011
As part of a two night sold-out run and in celebration of a night that supports disguises of all kinds, Umphrey’s McGee took over The Tabernacle for a thematic night that centered in mash-ups that began in the thoughtful costumes of the Chicago based prog-jam sextet and rolled through where it counts the most: the music.
Joel Cummins (keyboards) was dressed as Vince Neil Armstrong, Brendan Bayliss (guitar, vocals) was dressed as Richard Gene Simmons, Andy Farag (percussion) was dressed as Raggedy Andy Rooney, Ryan Stasik (bass) was dressed as Karate Kid Rock, Jake Cinninger (guitar) was dressed as Dimebag Daryl Hall and Kris Myers (drums) dressed as Pamela Anderson Cooper, with a red one piece bathing suit and short silvery hair.
On the heels of Death By Stereo, Umphrey’s was sure to work in a handful of tunes from the new album, but it was in the unique mash-up ensembles of tunes — that were as unlikely as the costumed players represented on stage — that proved to be the portion of the gig that will live on in the memories of UM fans for the foreseeable future and demonstrated the skill of a band that continues to shine. (See below for full setlist and notes)
Setlist (Courtesy of Umphrey’s McGee)
I: Jazz Odyssey > 40’s Theme, Miami Virtue -> Push the Pig,Â Mulche’s Odyssey > The Haunt > Jimmy Stewart* > Padgett’s Profile, The Floor, Addicted to Kiss**
II: Come As Your Kids$ > Mulche’s Odyssey, All In Time$$, Day Nurse, Resolution > 2×2, 1985 Wellwishing%
Encore I: Hajimemashite, In The Puppet Kitchen%%
Encore II: Nothing Too Fancy&
* with lyrics
** Kiss (Prince) + Addicted to Love (Robert Palmer) + I Can’t Dance (Genesis) mash-up
$ Kids (MGMT) + Come As You Are (Nirvana) + You Spin Me Right Round (Dead or Alive) mash-up
$$ with Crazy Train and The Fish (Yes) jams
% Nineteen Hundred and Eight Five (Wings) + Wishing Well (Terrence Trent D’Arby) + Wellwishers mash-up
%% Puppet Strings / In The Kitchen
& with Don’t Fear the Reaper jam
Cornmeal, The Ragbirds & Kinetix
The Canopy Club
October 31, 2011
Tradition dictates the annual All Hallows’ Eve ritual; we disguise ourselves and go into the night to celebrate our loss of identity and our adoption of temporary personae. The masquerade ballâ€™s origins stretches back to our prehistoric days, as our apish ancestors would wear the skins of animals and act out the great hunts to the spellbound that were gathered around the communal fire.
As the centuries passed, our love of slipping out of our day to day roles and assuming the aspect of others has become more elaborate, with masks and disguises found in every worldwide indigenous culture. It was in this venerable tradition that the masters of their own â€œProgressive Psychedelic Bluegrassâ€ genre, Cornmeal, held their fifth annual Halloween spectacular at the Canopy Club in Urbana, Illinois.
Though more than capable of filling an evening chock-full of tunes themselves, Cornmeal enlisted the help of the Denver, Colorado’s Kinetix and the pride of Ann Arbor, Michigan, The Ragbirds to help make the night as truly haunting and memorable as possible.
As an incentive to participate into the costume festivities and the spirit of the holiday, Cornmeal offered a costume contest with such fun prizes as a meet and greet with the band, an advance copy of their soon to be completed new studio album and a pair of free tickets to a show of the winnerâ€™s choosing.
On this evening, the club packed early with all manner of ghouls, goblins and, scariest of all, a Lady Gaga or two.
The Canopy Club features two rooms with stages, the outer hall with a small stage, bar and a pinball machine with one leg that is three inches shorter than the other; the main hall features a large stage and a balcony for excellent viewing.
The eveningâ€™s entertainment started with a solid set from Coloradoâ€™s Kinetix, a decidedly rocking bunch of fellows who won themselves many new fans with their brand of aggressive rock.Â Their 45 minute set of rocking originals on the outer stage led directly into The Ragbirdsâ€™ manic turn on the main stage.
Going all out, The Ragbirds went with a collaboration of a group themed costume, coming as the cast of the cultish kids show from the 1980s, Pee-Weeâ€™s Playhouse.Â With a very convincing Pee Wee on drums, a King of Cartoons on bass, Captain Carl and even an eye patch wearing Ms. Yvonne, the band put nearly as much effort into their costumes as they do their unique brand of world music inspired, jam-folk.
Following Pee-Weeâ€™s model, the band established a secret word for the crowd to go berserk at the merest mention, this night choosing â€œTequilaâ€ as the scream inducing trigger. A well timed cover of The Champs classic â€œTequilaâ€ used notably in the film, Pee Weeâ€™s Big Adventure, came complete with the Pee Wee attired drummer coming out from behind the kit to do a spot on version of the dance made famous in the films comical biker bar scene.
Following their applause and cheer-filled set closer, Kinetix retook the lobby stage for a second set leading off with an appropriately timed cover of Michael Jacksonâ€™s â€œThriller.â€
Following a second helping from Kinetix — that came complete with a decidedly heavy take on Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” — it was time for the stars of the evening, Cornmeal.
Never a band to miss an opportunity to have a little fun, the band was in full costumed regalia. With Bassist Chris Gangi sporting a mirror ball-esque jacket and silver Mexican Luchador mask, he appeared to be some sort of disco bondage enthusiast.Â Brothers John-Paul and Kris Nowak rocked out as an udderly ridiculous cow and stereotypical nerd respectively. Banjoist Wavy Dave Burlingame played on his natural resemblance to â€œWeird Al Yankovichâ€ while friend and guest percussionist Marshall Greenhouse came as Â a Rock Lobster. Fiddler supreme Allie Kral took the name of the bandâ€™s rabid fan club, â€œThe Cornstalkers,â€ quite literally by dressing as a giant ear of corn with sunglasses to protect her identity.
Playing a set that contained nearly all of what are considered the biggest songs in the bands cannon, from the seminal â€œHasten Jason,â€ â€œRain Your Lightâ€ and what is certain to be a centerpiece for their forthcoming album, the percussively heavy â€œBlack Smoke Rising,â€ Cornmeal preached to the gathered faithful with as crowd pleasing of a lineup of tunes as they have ever put together.
Keeping with the spirit of masks and disguise, rare covers of AC/DCâ€s â€œTNTâ€™ and Ted Nugentâ€™s â€œStrangleholdâ€ were inserted into the festivities and garnered epic responses from the delighted crowd.
Facing the cityâ€™s curfew, the band was sadly forced to draw an end to the nightâ€™s entertainment, but with a mischievous twinkle they made sure to inform their devoted mass that they will see them next year.
While weâ€™re sure to see them, we have no idea how theyâ€™ll appear, or even what they will choose to play.Â In the end, it is that uncertainty, the air of mystery and surprise, that is what the day is all about, after all.