Getting DUMB in Atlanta

Written by Brent Logan

July 31, 2007

Umphrey’s McGee/Disco Biscuits
Masquerade Music Park
Atlanta, Georgia
June 30, 2007

 

The D.U.M.B. tour was all about contrast.  It brought together two completely different bands who play two completely different styles of music.  The tour was all about bringing these differences to the forefront to see just what might happen.

The Disco Biscuits (the D and B) and Umphrey’s McGee (the U and M) embarked on a five show/ five day mini tour in the Southeast from Charlottesville, Virginia to Pompano Beach, Florida in late June.  The fourth day of the tour brought them to the capital of the south, Atlanta Georgia, to play at Masquerade Music Park.  The bands showed just how good each can be separately, and finally, when they take the stage together.

To the surprise of many fans, there had not been any sit-ins or cross-pollination of the two bands leading up to the Atlanta show.  Given the history of the two bands, most were hoping that the two of them — on the same bill with the same amount of playing time — would bring the magic.

In theory, it should have translated into seamless set changes, choice covers (possibly some Brain Damaged Eggmen material), or some of the patented goofing around that these two bands are known for.  But no, through three shows, there had been nothing but stellar playing from each band, on its own.

As luck would have it, all these things did transpire in Atlanta, and made for one hell of a night.

 

The Biscuits

 
The Disco Biscuits opened this stop of the tour, outside under the stars (well, start were out by the end of the show at least) in Atlanta, and did so with a massive segue.  Starting off with “Digital Buddha,” they made their way into an inverted version of “Crickets.”  Eventually, after meandering through “Strobelights and Martinis,” “Mindless Dribble,” and “Voices Insane,” they ended up in “I-Man” and, at long last, the first sit-in of the run.

During “I-Man” a member of Umphrey’s, guitarist Brendan Bayliss, finally came out to play.  He led the ending jam, which had already traveled far away from the “I-Man” sound and actually was the force that eventually brought tDB back into their own song.

Bayliss then stayed on to play the ending to Guns N Roses’ “November Rain” which got a “let’s hear it for Slash!” comment out of Bisco’s Marc Brownstein.  While the first guest appearance of the tour was short but sweet, it was a sign of great things to come.

After Bayliss left the stage, Bisco finished up their set with “World Is Spinning” and “Save the Robots,” and then relinquised the stage for Umphrey’s.

 

Umphrey’s McGee

 
“Wizard Burial Ground” was a much requested tune coming into this Umphrey’s show.  This monster of a rock song – think And Justice For All-era Metallica with beautiful piano work in the middle – was debuted on UM’s west coast tour on June 14th to rave reviews.  Fortunately they opened the show with it because there’s a big metal scene in Atlanta, and a lot of them enjoy some UM.  This really sets the tone for the rest of evening and what was to follow changed the pace a bit, but got the crowd dancing hard.

“Walletsworth,” typically played similar to the album version, had a huge dance party jam in the middle with “Crazy Train” (Ozzy Osbourne) teases for close to four minutes, which led perfectly into “Nothing Too Fancy.”

By now it was getting dark out and Umphrey’s McGee’s light man Adam Budney was starting to shine and get into the mix more.  Seems he’s added a few more toys, adding to the already full-on Umphrey’s assault.

“40’s Theme” had its usually rocking ending, then the boys brought it down a notch with “Words.”  An obvious drop in energy happened but this allowed people to focus on the somber nature of this beautifully-sung Bayliss.

After a pointless glow stick war, a giant double-sided purple dildo was being hung in front of stage (a prank by tDB lighting guy) and a blowup doll was on stage.  Normally this would make everyone laugh, but the timing was weird during the emotional climax of “Words.”  Still, it gave everyone a good chuckle.

“Pay the Snucka” and “FF” were huge, as usual, and the segue back into “Nothing Too Fancy” was gorgeous with some great flute work by Bisco’s Aron Magner.  Then comes “Panama,” one of their most played covers, a great song but played to the point that most can do without hearing it ever again.

For the encore UM had tDB come out and play one of their own tunes, “Helicopter,” a nice change of pace and an obvious nod to the spirit of the D.U.M.B. tour.  They got the place dancing again and a full band switch ensued with UM coming out one by one and taking over their rightful spots on stage to close out the show with “Miss Tinkle’s Overture,” with some “November Rain” teases about halfway through.

Some people missed the encore in order to wait in line for the Perpetual Groove, who later performed their own show inside, but it was their loss, as the encore was a definite highlight of a great evening of music.

All in all, both bands put on a fantastic concert in Atlanta, despite the hot-as-hell sweltering heat of an outdoor show in the South in the middle of summer.   Both bands continue to put on great shows and keep the audience guessing.  As long as this keeps happening, people will keep coming back for more from both acts.

 

Disco Biscuits:

Digital Buddah > Crickets > Strobelights and Martinis > Mindless Dribble > Voices Insane > I-Man* > November Rain*, World Is Spinning, Save The Robots

*w/ Brendan Bayliss

 

Umphree’s McGee:

Wizard Burial Ground, Example > Walletsworth > “Jimmy Stewart” > Walletsworth > Nothing Too Fancy > Alex’s House > 40′s Theme, Words, Pay the Snucka, FF > “Jimmy Stewart”* > Nothing Too Fancy*, Panama

Encore: Helicopters** > Miss Tinkle’s Overture**

*w/ Aron Magner

** Disco Biscuits started with Helicoptors, and one by one, Umphrey’s McGee came up and took over, segueing into Miss Tinkle’s Overture

 

Click the thumbnails to view more photos from the show by Brad Kuntz

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