Umphrey’s McGee Rocks The National in Richmond

By Stu Kelly / January 16, 2024

Umphrey’s McGee took The National in Richmond, Virginia, by storm this past Sunday, delivering an electrifying performance that left the audience in awe. The band’s seamless blend of progressive rock, funk, and improvisational prowess created an unforgettable musical experience for the fans lucky enough to be in attendance.

The first set started with the dynamic duo of “Bathing Digits” and “Plunger,” setting the tone for a night filled with intricate musical explorations. “Mad Love” and “Uncle Wally” followed, showcasing the band’s ability to transition seamlessly between different moods and styles. The energy in the venue soared during “Kabump” and “Hiccup,” with the crowd dancing and grooving to the infectious rhythms.

Umphrey’s McGee continued to captivate the audience with “The Crooked One” and “Small Strides,” each song building on the momentum of the previous one. The intricate musicality and tight interplay between band members were fully displayed, demonstrating why Umphrey’s is renowned for their live performances. Kris Myers especially shined behind the drum kit, as this is his first full tour back with the band after recovering from rotator cuff surgery last year. 

As the second set unfolded, the band delved into diverse musical landscapes. “Maybe Someday” served as a soulful introduction, leading into the emotional journey of “Attachments” and the funky vibes of “Hajimemashite.” The crowd was treated to the prog-rock odyssey of “Staircase” and the infectious groove of “Day Nurse.”

A standout moment came with the rendition of Steely Dan‘s “Hey Nineteen,” showcasing Umphrey’s McGee’s ability to pay homage to iconic classics while infusing their unique flavor. The band took this number for a walk, igniting a full-fledged dance party. The bust out of “Hey Nineteen” ends a 160-show gap, last played 11.20.21 in Norfolk, VA. With this performance, “Hey Nineteen” reclaims its spot as UM’s most frequently covered song, tied with “The Song Remains the Same” (both played 87 times, h/t @UMFacts). The set peaked with the pulsating “Mulche’s Odyssey,” leaving the audience in a state of musical ecstasy.

Umphrey’s McGee returned to the stage for the encore to deliver the final blow with “Slacker.” The extended jam session allowed each band member to shine individually, showcasing their virtuosity and tight musical cohesion.

Overall, Umphrey’s McGee at The National was a masterclass in live performance. The setlist, carefully curated with a mix of fan favorites and surprises, kept the audience on their toes throughout the night. The band’s ability to seamlessly blend genres and create spontaneous musical moments made this concert an immersive and unforgettable experience for everyone lucky to attend. UM left an undeniable mark on the Richmond music scene with this scorching performance. 

UM will continue its tour in Sayreville, New Jersey, this Thursday. For a complete list of dates, check out their official website here

Setlist via All Things Umphrey’s:

Set 1: Bathing Digits > Plunger > Mad Love, Uncle Wally, Kabump > Hiccup, The Crooked One > Small Strides

Set 2: Maybe Someday, Attachments > Hajimemashite, Staircase > Day Nurse, Hey Nineteen, Mulche’s Odyssey

Encore: Slacker

Gallery via Stu Kelly Photography 

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Stu Kelly