Is there a specific UM song that hooked, lined, and sunk you or a version of a song that you’ll never get tired of? My hope is to create a few Best Of The Best playlists, since the Outstanding Versions list is way too large of a project to undertake.
The one song that hooked me in was 2011 SCamp Red Tape. Found a jamband mix on Spotify, when I was hippie flipping, and this came on. Such a beautiful piece of improv. I especially love Pony’s bass playing in the song. The ending peak/dance party sent me into another shadowrealm. I probably played it 4 more times that night. This is a very important song to me, in regards to my UM fandom. The song that I can’t stop spinning lately is, 2007 spacestation ITK. Another one that has some wicked bass in it, and might be the best encore I can think of.
The moment for me was the Tribute that opened the Barrymore 12/1/2001 show. I was standing like 5 feet in front of Jake, and the beginning of that tune just hit me like a ton of bricks. Then, they throw in that BB solo, and I was sold & never looked back.
Before that, I’d seen the way the Allman’s guitarists (Warren/Dickey) would trade solos in the mid 90s, and loved it so much. So when UM stepped up that night, it was just what I needed out of a young, up & coming band. That show was easily one of the most impactful jam band shows I’ve seen, that weren’t ‘95-‘99 Phish gems. The couple Dead shows I saw w/Jerry were impactful, but more for the experience than the music. I’ve got some very fond memories of early Panic as well, but they never hit like what I saw out of UM that cold night in Madison. I also had a couple serious moments at early Biscuits in ‘99-‘01, but they were still a little hard to figure out completely. UM was def easier in that respect. They hit on nearly all the things I loved in music that night. The Sabbath, Fugazi, Beatles, Allman’s covers…hell yeah. But in terms of originals, it was def the Tribute, Nachos, Ringo, Water, HBB, August & 2X2 that caught my attention.
My first show. I went into not knowing too much about these guys, and mentally comparing them to Phish. My buddy roasted a doob, and tells me after that it was all keef, and I got so violently high that I couldn’t handle the intensity. I remember the ending of Mulches being intense on the lights, and I remember Roundabout. I don’t remember much else. Good times.
The ‘02 New Years run at the Vic (RIP Mirro) got me hooked, particularly the 12/31/02 N2F. What a way to open a show.
Was disturbing to learn the band almost broke up backstage at these shows, but they were fun to listen back to a couple years later when I discovered the band. Similar to Bonnaroo ‘04 the setlist is all their bangers of the time.