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UMerica: 4th of July Colorado Celebration


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Words by Harris Sullivan 

As the band gains national notoriety, they still take solace in playing special shows in smaller rooms, not wanting to lose that connection to their roots as they continue to grow. Friday’s celebration at the Boulder Theater (capacity of 850 people) and Saturday’s show at Red Rocks Amphitheater (capacity of 9,450 people, on it’s way to selling out) is the yin and the yang of their growth. The band will be working on new covers (or possibly even a new mashup, seemingly a Red Rocks tradition) along with fine-tuning premieres off of their new album (Educated Guess is due) which is all fine and dandy, but the Puppet Strings will be off all night at Boulder Theatre as UM can explore any avenue of improv they desire. In 2011, the 4th of July show featured sit-ins from David Murphy (formerely of STS9), Dominic Lalli (Big Gigantic, The Motet) and Michael Travis (SCI) as well America-ballads ‘America the Beautiful’ and ‘Glory’. This will be the band’s 4th time playing at the beautiful Boulder Theater and their 2nd 4th of July celebration at the venue, surely to be something special.


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Saturday’s Red Rocks show features support from local-heroes The Motet and the budding Moon Taxi, with Umphrey’s McGee to hit the stage at 9:30PM CST and ending around 1:00AM CST. This will be the band’s 8th time at Red Rocks and as lead-singer Brendan Bayliss said last year about the venue, “it gets better and better each time people”. Expect a ‘Hangover’ after the previous night’s festivities, along with heavy hitters ‘Ocean Billy’ and ‘Mantis’…as far as anything else, that’s the Glory of it. Umphrey’s McGee thrives for the big stage and their slow but steady growth over the past 10 years is gauged annually at Red Rocks. This year, the band hopes to sell out the show with intentions of returning next year for two nights.

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