I’m going with 2009, specifically the Mantis Tour from January through the spring.
Seemed like the band was reserved, working in the new Mantis songs into their setlist construction and as a result, not delivering the jams. Besides the Aggie Kitchen, the Tulsa DBK, and that Plunger that became Remind Me, was there anything really worth revisiting from this tour?
Later in the year they got it going, and specifically, Cemetery Walk II featured it’s first outstanding version I want to say 10/25/09, it was Eureka or Eugene if my memory serves me correct but I recall listening to that show and being like, “Now that’s why you always stay until the last note.”
after nye 2008 being such a high, the vic theater show on mlk day '09 was quite pedestrian. the mlk show it had the cards stacked against me, because of how i felt from the nye run.
then, the madison run in february was rad as hell.
i saw one day of SCAMP and then their moe.down set which were both pedestrian.
then the pacnw run was special for me since i had moved to up here a few weeks before that leg of the tour. musically, i haven’t gone back and listed to madison or the pacnw run in years but those weekends were definitely special for me.
my answer may have to be 2010, solely due to having my lowest show count that year
The difference Kris made starting in '03 was night and day, but I don’t think any of the Mirro years qualify as worst ever. There are a lot of 2003 shows that have solid replay value for me even though the band was just learning how to play with Kris. I can’t think of any 2014 or 2015 UM that holds even an iota of replay value for me, so let’s say 2015 2014. There were a shit ton of forgettable shows in the 2015-18 years but I’ll go with '15 '14 as the year that started a rut.
EDIT I was thinking of 2014, not 2015. 2015 was pretty bad too, but all the shows I caught in 2014 were total snoozers.
ETA: I had a great time at the '09 shows I saw, but the standard Mantis songs (particularly at the beginning of the year) really pulled down the sets as they were worked on. '14 saw the onset of the awful 4 min cock rock jams that still plague us. Think I just convinced myself '14 is worse
14-16 was all pretty atrocious. 2009 seemed bad for the time, and the Mantis tour got a bit old, but the good shows and the good jams from that year are fucking fire. I could barely even listen to them from 14-16, with 14 probably being the worse.
07.16.2009 THE CAPITOL THEATRE, DAVENPORT, IA, USA
Set 1: Out Of Order > Gulf Stream > Slacker > Much Obliged > Slacker, Snake Juice > Dump City > Prophecy Now > Dump City, Uncle Wally > Waiting Room
Set 2: Ringo > Space Funk Booty > Ringo, Ocean Billy > The Pequod -> Dr. Feelgood > Ocean Billy, Rocker Part 2, Spires, August
Encore: Sex Farm > Partyin’ Peeps
 with Slacker jam
 with Mood For a Day (Yes) tease by Jake
 with Everything In Its Right Place (Radiohead) jam
This is probably my favorite show from my least favorite year of um.