When Umphrey’s McGee is in the Poudre… trust us, the word travels swiftly — far and wide, canyon to canyon, river to river, and state to state. Umphrey’s three-night run at the Mishawaka left decade-long fans in tears, head-banging along to each jam engraved in their memories all three nights.
Patrons on night one were no stranger to the cascade of head-banging that engulfed the Mishawaka this weekend. Fans stretched from stage left to stage right, filling every corner, crevice, and river bed with a movement that echoed the melodies blaring from the stage.
Night one was a nostalgic memory for the band. They had played the Mishawaka stage once before, but it had been such a long time since their wizardry graced the river stage. They were ecstatic to be nestled in the wide bends of the Poudre Canyon once again and couldn’t get over how utterly in love with Colorado they were. Umphrey’s expressed their love through killer beats, unbeatable lighting effects, and stage banter that left the crowd clinging to every word.
As the first night fizzled to an end, the crowd and band were still filled with energetic anticipation. An insatiable craving for more epic lighting, stellar keyboard solos, and rockstar moves to come. It was the perfect cliffhanger of a concert to prepare the Poudre Canyon for the nights to come.
It’s no surprise that as the Friday night show was winding down, Umphrey’s McGee was playing like there was no end in sight. Drinks were flowing, music was flooding the venue, and the vibes were through the Mishawaka’s non-existent roof. This was the first time this season when it felt the crowd and the band were one cohesive unit. It was almost like being at a party with all your close friends rather than a concert with strangers. The community surrounding this band is like none other and it’s easy to see the appeal to not only the band but to the entire experience as a whole.
It’s impossible to review the weekend with Umphrey’s McGee without taking note of the absolutely captivating lighting design that accompanied the music. The lights were dancing even more than the crowd which truly created an immersive, full-sensory experience for all concertgoers.
Night two brought an insane energy to the Mishawaka. The crowd was still hyped from night one meaning that the magic started the second the band hit the stage.
After two nights of Umphrey’s, fans were still lining up hours before the doors opened for night three to get the best possible spot to really take in the last night of this monumental concert run. It was Saturday night, and it almost didn’t feel like there had already been two shows in the previous days, the band felt great and the crowd felt fresh and ready for one more night in the books. If Umphrey’s McGee was only going to be here for one more night, they were going to party like it was the last night of their lives.
The venue flooded almost immediately after the gates opened, people rushed to the front of the stage to maybe get a peek at the band early, and others rushed to merch to grab the last few items that were left from the first two days, or just to grab a bite to eat and something to drink in preparation for the show. The sun had set over the ridge and the lights came on to welcome Umphrey’s McGee to the stage for the first set of the night, and the crowd was more than ready. The Mishawaka erupted and without hesitation, Umphrey’s McGee started absolutely shredding.
The band played a fresh new set unique from the other two evenings, giving a masterclass in improvisation in music and a fresh outlook on the evening for those who made it to all three nights. The sounds of both the full instrumental tracks and the songs to sing along with created a vibe for everybody to enjoy fully and thoroughly. Every night was different and even better than the last, leaving Umphrey’s fans in awe and only craving more. Lucky for them we had one more full set to go after a brief intermission.
Once everybody had a chance to get some food, another drink, and take a second to relax, Umphrey’s took the stage for the final 90 minutes of the three legendary nights of this legendary show. The band took this time to reflect on the week, and how great it was to spend this time together with everybody, and shine a light on being there for one another, checking on your friends and family, making sure they are okay, and knowing they are loved. This set was a celebration of the weekend and life, and it was something truly beautiful to watch. The final minutes to top off the weekend were jaw-dropping, simply a perfect demonstration of what music is all about and what we do it for. This group showed us raw talent, true professionalism, pure entertainment, and nothing short of wizardry on their instruments, if you put all of these things together, you get THE Umphrey’s McGee.
- Written by Kaylee Pierskalla, Emma Cusik, and Bradley Campbell
- Photos from Sunny Side Production
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