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Umphrey’s McGree

Sunday, June 29 @ Harley-Davidson Roadhouse, 9:30 p.m.

Jun. 18, 2014
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Say the word “improg”—a mashup of “improvisational” and “progressive” used to describe rock music—and South Bend, Ind., isn’t the first place that comes to mind. But that’s where “improg” band Umphrey’s McGee was born, giving the city its own place in the musical landscape.

The band was formed at the University of Notre Dame in 1997 by guitarist/vocalist Brendan Bayliss, bassist Ryan Stasik, keyboardist Joel Cummins and drummer Mike Mirro. Guitarist Jake Cinninger and percussionist Andy Farag later joined the band, and in 2002 drummer Kris Myers replaced Mirro, who left to attend medical school. (Mirro died this past Jan. 30 at age 36.)

Familiar to jam band fans, Umphrey’s McGee courts the same audiences as Phish and The Grateful Dead. But the musicians also draw on influences like Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd and The Mahavishnu Orchestra—the “prog” side of their uniquely defined genre. In addition to its own compositions, the band has been known to cover “Patience” by Guns N’ Roses and Vince Guaraldi’s “Linus and Lucy” theme from the Peanuts cartoon.

Umphrey’s McGee’s Summerfest performance will no doubt lean heavily on numbers from their sixth studio album Similar Skin, due to be released June 10 on their new label Nothing Too Fancy Music. But longtime fans also can hope for a few tasty turns on “Jimmy Stewart,” “Phil’s Farm” and maybe even “Linus and Lucy.”

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