Words and Photos by Jesse Filippelli
To escape from last night’s blistering cold, fans filled the room of the Fillmore Auditorium in Denver as Dumpstaphunk and Umphrey’s McGee were taking the stage for a night that surely would rock the socks off of any who attended.
First up was Dumpstaphunk, kicking the night off with “Everybody Wants Some.” Lead by Ivan Neville the quintet brought the funk, playing fan favorite “Put it in the Dumpsta,” reminding everyone in the crowd to take all their stress and problems and, well; “Put it in the Dumpsta!”
Slowly you felt the room get a little warmer and soon much more full. Fans on the floor were crammed shoulder to shoulder as anticipation grew, then the lights finally dimmed and Umphrey’s emerged through the fog and got right to it with “Flamethrower” into “Mulche’s Odyssey” and “Miami Virtue.”
Lighting designer Jefferson Waful captivated the crowd with an array of rainbow beams shooting clear to the back of the venue as well as high into the rafters. He used the lights to almost make the room seem larger said open concertgoer. Bringing the first set to an end was the track “Dump City,” which featured special guest Ivan Neville joining Umphrey’s keyboardist Joel Cummins. Singer Brendan Bayliss left the stage on this note, “We are Joel Cummins and the Frequent Fliers, don’t go anywhere we will be back after a short break.”
Second set was a completely different animal, as saxophone player Joshua Redman joined the Chicago based band creating a new realm of sound. To start it off was a nearly 30 minute jam of “Der Bluten Kat,” and to add just a little bit more spice to the sound, local Boulder resident 12 year-old Jaden Carlson was brought to the stage. Jaws were hitting the floor all across the venue as nobody was prepared for how unbelievably talented the young sensation was as she shredded harmonic licks alongside Jake Cinninger.
The addition of Redman cannot be over looked. The energy that his playing brought to Umphrey’s direction was unlike anything I have ever experienced attending one of their shows. It was clear to the crowd that everyone on stage was having an amazing time, and one can feel that energy transfer into the fans.
Bringing the show to a very epic ending was “1348” which featured a extended jam after the first verse where Redman’s sax gave the song new light I had never seen. All night the house was rockin’ with heavy breakdowns and high speed guitar riffs keeping everyone on their feet and with heads banging. Don’t miss out when the band returns the Fillmore on Tuesday to help bring in the New Year.