Photographer’s Notebook: Umphrey’s McGee performed its debut concert on Thursday, March 24, in the South Shore Room at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe. Umphrey’s McGee formed in 1997 as a campus band at the University of Notre Dame and now resides in Chicago. Die-hard fans traveled from all over the country to see this show, and some will continue on to other venues to see them again on this tour. By my assessment of the crowd’s reaction, I would say that Umphrey’s McGee could not have put on a better show. As for me, words such as “awestruck,” “speechless,” “jealous” (yeah, that would be the musician part of me) come to mind. They seemed to have covered every genre of music from jazz to prog to reggae to country, and all within the same song. They even threw in a few hints of some 1980s songs such as”Eye Of The Tiger,” and their light show was nothing less than spectacular. A few fans on each side of the stage caused the fog to swirl around like a giant vortex. Very cool. Frontman Brendan Bayliss said that he knew it was going to be a good day when he saw drummer Kris Meyer wearing a tie. It was a fantastic show. I’m a new fan.
— Kurt E. Johnson