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.
“If you book them, they will come,” says the fictionalized, desert dwelling Jim Morrison in “Wayne’s World 2.” Pretty sound advice when you’re booking top end talent like Aerosmith circa 1993 for an inaugural festival, but what about a band that’s never performed together?
Penn’s Peak, perched just above the picturesque town of Jim Thorpe, PA is a gem of a venue; one that should become a pilgrimage for East Coast music lovers. Located an hour and a half from Philly and two hours from New York, it’s “just far enough out here to chase off the riff raff” one rail-rider grinned to me last night during the second night of Greensky Bluegrass’s and Fruition’s run of 14 mid-winter date
A raging storm blew through southern California on a cold and rainy Sunday night, January 22, but that didn’t stop ardent fans from braving the lefts to come out to the Canyon Club for an electrifying concert by Tony Levin’s Stick Men. The band started as a solo project for Levin with the releases of his Stick Man album in 2007.
On the night before New Year’s Eve with so many good musical choices in the area, there was no place I would have rather been than in the cozy confines of the ornate Boulder Theater seeing one of the best bluegrass bands of our generation. It is always a hometown New Year’s Eve run for these young bluegrass legends. The other hometown bluegrass winners of Rockygrass’ Best New Band Competition, The Railsplitters opened the show.
While cold rainy storms pound Northern California, things are heating up inside The Yolo Brewery as The New Up take the stage. The band is on tour and tonight’s stop is in West Sacramento. The subtle mouthwatering aroma of craft beer fills the cozy venue, while vibrant lights and lasers illuminate the stage. Surrounded by brewery equipment and stoked fans, The New Up start rocking.
Normally, being in or around my state’s capital during the precipice of such a divided political event is something I never thought I would do... Taking such great strides out of my comfort zone for the sole purpose of watching a billionaire open for classic rock legend Don Henley, is another, very uncharacteristic decision. However, with the damned awfulness of 2016, I’m taking new strides into uncharted territory in 2017.
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.