That Time When Umphrey's Hooked It Up

Any good stories about the band or management (LOL) doing something above and beyond to further demonstrate that Umphrey’s McGee is the best band in the universe?


In 2011, I had snagged tickets to STS9’s Halloween show at the Georgia Theatre. It was their first time back since the fire and with the history they had at the venue, I thought we were going to get a burner. Naturally, I was driving from Austin to Athens and Umphrey’s was playing Baton Rogue, Tuscaloosa, Atlanta x 2, and Moogfest in Asheville preceding this STS9 show so I decided to do four of the five Umphrey’s shows on the way, originally opting to skip N2 of Hautlanta to make it up to Moogfest a day earlier than Umphrey’s headlining spot to catch Amon Tobin’s ISAM set. Unfortunately, after three nights of Umphrey’s, I needed a fourth before the fifth and I secured a couple tickets for my girlfriend at the time and I to see the second night at the Tabernacle, skipping ISAM (don’t worry, I caught it in Portland less than a year later :slight_smile: ) to 'phreak out another night.

The next afternoon we dragged ass and didn’t hit the road until 3:30PM, placing us in Asheville shortly before 7PM. Since it was the last day of Moogfest, the box office was closed and there was no way to secure tickets. We attempted to do the RFID passback wristband trick (scan the spare one out and shuffle your crew in one at a time) but my friend’s wrists were too small to get onto mine and we didn’t have a butter knife handy to wook hack it.

After nearly giving up, my ex notices a tour bus with the semi behind it and questions me on whether that was Umphrey’s bus or not. Knowing what it looked like, because I’m creepy like that, I said let’s go! - and we headed over. Not more than a couple minutes passed before Don and Joel come outside and we explain our situation - on tour, did the last four nights, box office closed, need our fix, etc. Joel and Don could tell we were jonesing (or Don just wanted to wash his hands clean of the situation) and Don says, “hold on a second.” He goes back onto the bus and comes up with two festival passes. We preceded to express our gratitude, thanking them and letting them know we were looking forward to the show that night. I might have been riding a fanboi high at the time (23 years old at the time, give me a break!) and I thought that Asheville show was the best of the run. I don’t think the recording does it justice, but give it a spin sometime…


One Set: Plunger > The Linear > Plunger, Smell the Mitten, Red Tape, Room to Breathe, Girlfriend is Better > Get In The Van, Conduit, Ringo > White Man’s Moccasins > Ringo, Domino Theory[1]

[1] with Kids (MGMT) teases and 25 or 6 to 4 (Chicago) jam

It didn’t hurt we caught a James Murphy DFA DJ set immediately before the Umphrey’s set either. Good times in Ashevegas.

Just thought I’d share a positive memory to see if we can get some more examples of Umphrey’s being the shit. :slight_smile:


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friend got kicked out of the irving plaza on n2 of their november 2005 shows. he’s friends with wade, though i believe this may have been before wade had been working for them, but i’m not sure. wade got in touch with vince who let my friend in the backdoor of the venue. vince told my friend to switch shirts with someone as to not get noticed again, because if the security kicked him out a second time, he’d be on his own. friend spent most of that show laying low (literally sitting on the floor) up in the balcony.

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McL with ticket hooks during my brief stint on the street team. any further McL ticket hook ups when he was offering free tickets to tapers. i only taped UM a few times but was able to utilize that deal.


MCL and Wade are good dudes! I’ll post a good Wade story later.

McL was the reason I attended my first UM show with the taper ticket


I once tried to get mr 3000 to sneak me back in after getting the hook (security sniped me out of the crowd at setbreak coming in from the smoking section, house of rules 2012). Unfortunately wade didn’t work for the band anymore so he couldn’t really hook it up.

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At the July 2007 Sonar show in Baltimore for some reason there were like 4 joints going around right as the show was starting. I am always super careful but I had a healthy buzz going already and was like “fuck it” so I was smoking with our crew…there was like 10 of us. The ceilings at Sonar were really low so it must have looked absolutely ridiculous with all the smoke.

Of course I was the one who got singled out by security and was booted out only a couple songs into the first set. Missed that awesome Sweetness which sucked. I waited outside for the remainder of the set and Noodles switched shirts with me and gave me his hat and either Wade or Robbie got me back in before set 2 hahaha. What a silly night that was…

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When Jake and Joel came up to the hotel room of one of the fans and partied with a bunch of us after the 2009 Des Moines show, that was pretty great. Jake even played a few songs on someone’s super shitty acoustic guitar.

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