13 years.

My oh my what a difference 13 years makes.

The last time I was in a room with Umphrey's McGee and my camera it was New Year's Eve of 2002 rolling into 2003.

I was armed with my trusty Nikon N90s a 28mm 2.8 and a 80-200 2.8. ISO 800 film that I was push processing to 1600. To the non-photographers that are reading, imagine you only had your flip phone from 8 years ago to take pictures with instead of the current version of your iPhone. I didn't have near the experience, know how, creativity and tools as I do today. I gave Vince, their manager, some 4x6 prints and maybe five of them from the whole night were good or OK.

Shooting Umphrey's at the beautiful Riverside Theater in Milwaukee for Halloween gave me a great marker for growth over a long period of time. 

Umphrey's McGee has had their strides of growth as well. That New Year's Eve show that I was at they had a drummer sitting in on a few songs. I don't remember if he had the gig to replace their old drummer yet or if this was a live audition for him. I had backstage access so I was able to chat with him. Kris was a great guy to talk with and it was pretty neat to hear his excitement to step on board with this progressive-jam-rock-funk-metal band that was really starting to find crowds across the country. When I checked their current lineup early this week I was happy to see that Kris was still drumming for them. Their sound has evolved in exactly the direction I think it should have.

Boy! Was I blown away by their sound. They were always one of my favorite bands to see. One complete unit with each individual playing with crazy skill. Their transitions are like nobody else, speeding 100+ MPH one way then they'll stop on a dime give you a bit of whiplash and they're off somewhere else. I dug all their new and old original material, but with it being Halloween they had to wear some kind of costume, besides their different takes on Game of Thrones Jon Snow... "I Can't Rock My Dream Face" a smoothly mashed up the current pop hit Can't Feel My Face by The Weekend with Dreams by Fleetwood Mac and Rock With You by Michael Jackson. Done in just a way that only this band could do it.

What a band, what a venue, what a lighting rig, what a night!

Thanks for stopping by!

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