On the cool evening of September 8, 2017, I entered the parking lot at Sweetwater in Fort Wayne, IN. If you do not know, Sweetwater is a musical equipment store and distribution center, along with housing recording studios, practice space, concert halls, and a large pseudo-airplane hangar in the back where they can host more significant events. This outdoor hangar (or pavilion, if you will), was my destination on this evening.
As day 4 of Bonnaroo 2017 dawned warm and humid, four days on nearly nonstop celebration began to take its toll on exhausted concert goers. Some began to pack up their campsites and headed to the exits to get an early start on their long treks homeward. Many others just collapsed in any cool shady spot they could find for a long-delayed sleep.
Bonnaroo 2017 headline acts U2 (Friday), Red Hot Chili Peppers (Saturday), Weeknd (Sunday) were highly charged sets. But the earlier acts The XX, Chance the Rapper, and Lorde all of whom were not overlooked and primed the audience with exceptional performances.
Another Summer Camp Music Festival has come and gone, and while every weekend spent at Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe, IL beholds something different, this weekend had an extra-special feeling to it that was hard to put your finger on. Maybe it was the seemingly yearly re-occurring thunder storm that rolled through the festival grounds mid-afternoon Friday, soaking the grounds and bringing out the inner-child in the crowd as fans stomped through the puddles with their rain boots.
Last Sunday, March 12, the Chicago-based progressive aggressive improvisational six piece known as Umphrey’s McGee crammed themselves, their full arsenal of gear and a fraction of their typical lighting array onto The Grate Room stage at Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael, CA.
On February, 2, 2017, Grand Rapids, MI welcomed Umphrey’s McGee. The “Umph” brought the “umph” to the first night of its “Mitten Run,” being the second act to open the brand new 20 Monroe Live in downtown Grand Rapids. It was a night of hot music in a hot venue.
What an honor it was to see one of my favorite bands in one of my very favorite cities, and with some of my very favorite people. This year I traveled my way three hours to Chicago by car then by train to get to the Aragon Ballroom on December 30th, 2016 to see one my favorite bands of all time Umphrey’s McGee.
2016 was a year that much of the country would like to do over. Between deaths, elections and Kanye West, it was year of unremarkable lows. However, for Chicago, IL, 2016 was granted a hassle-free All Access Pass when the Chicago Cubs, the beloved baseball team from the North Side, broke a 108-year drought and won the World Series.