Stories from Shows: Umphrey’s Mcgee @ The Anthem, Washington D.C.


“And our fantasy is so misunderstood
So I hope you did the best you could
It’s always easiest to turn your head and walk
Because you know people always talk their talk” – Umphrey’s Mcgee

Read more: Umphrey’s McGee – Morning Song (Mourning Song) Lyrics | MetroLyrics 


Happy Tuesday Readers! Today we are launching our Museday Tuesday series!

Museday Tuesday’s will be all about the music we love here a Sick but Pretty. To kick things off I’d like to introduce you to Althea, my favorite music guru and all around boss chick. She is sharing her story from Umphrey’s Mcgee at the The Anthem Theater in D.C.

I give you Althea… 

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a fan of music. My mom was my greatest teacher and supporter of my love music; She was the pillar of my informal musical education. Whether we were dancing in kitchen or driving to the White Mountains in the car playing air guitar and piano on the dash board, we always had great tunes as our backdrop. The Beatles, Janice Joplin, Carole King, Van Morrison, Jim Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and Queen just to name a few, are staples of my coming to age story.

As I got older, my love of music blossomed.  I’d try to get a ticket to anything… seriously anything. If a friend had asked me to go see music with them, without even knowing who was playing, I was your girl, I’d be down to go. For me, it didn’t really even matter who the artist was, I just wanted to have a good time and see something new. I’ve always been a down for the cause type of friend. My open mindedness and spontaneity lead me to some of my best musical discoveries.

In High School I discovered my love of jam bands.  I was initially attracted to this “scene” or now what I refer to as community because people I thought were so cool  would invite me to shows. One hot humid summer night in 2007 while home on summer break from College I got a call my friend Eric who asked if I wanted to see some music.

I just spent close to two hours driving in bumper -to – bumper traffic to spend the weekend at my Nana’s beach cottage. There was no way I was going to get back into my car to schlep back to the city to see some random band/

“What up guy,” I said as I answered.

“Girl, I have an extra ticket to see Umphrey’s at the ballroom tonight, you game?

“Hampton Casino,”- I said surprised

“Yeah kid”

That was only 15 minutes from Nana! And she was happy to drop me off. As long as she could be back by 7:00 pm for Wheel of Fortune…

The rest was history.

I was an instant fan. Something about the way they played familiar classic songs that I could sing along to with their funky base had me hooked. I couldn’t wait to go home and get on limewire to download what music I could find.

(Side note, remember limewire? You basically had to infect your computer with aids to get free music; kids these days have it so easy)

Fast-forward 11 years…

Some people track amazon packages, I track music tickets. While I’m a slave to the man by day in corporate America, I like to keep tabs on what’s coming to my city and where I can see good music without breaking the bank. I see the announcement on Jambase, I drop what I am doing and  g-chat my friend ‘Bee’ right away. “I’ve got tickets to Umphrey’s they are only $35 bucks, we are going.” Like a true partner in crime and music lover, she is down. I make her a few playlists of their newest album and most popular materials.

A few weeks later we are walking into DC’s newest venue, The Anthem for their sold out show. After a little Sesh down by the water, of course.  Gotta get your mind right, you know?

We go to buy merch, because of course we support artists, and I proudly scored 50/50 limited addition poster. Psyched for my most recent acquisition we check our leather jackets with our new merch and head straight to the bar to get double vodka sodas. (Again, mind right).

(editor’s note from Bee: I got Zonkey on vinyl. Guys, I hate to say this but I don’t think I’m a new music on vinyl person. The scorn!)

We make our may to front of the stage. Yes, being youngish and pretty has its advantages. In this crowd of mostly dudes, they are more than happy to make room for us to dance around them. You can hear the sold out crowd cheer, yearning for an action pack night.  Umphreys opens with ‘Catshot’ a crowd favorite that has a “40’s theme” to it. To be honest, the music was good, but the company I was with was better. I lost myself in the incredible vibe of dancing with my favorite, Ms. ‘Bee”. I was so happy to be in the moment with my friend. The one who just gets it, and appreciates the beauty and community of like-minded people. For a while we forget about all the terrible shit that was happening to her, our jobs, our responsibilities, and we escape to our happy place.

(Another editor’s note from Bee: I couldn’t believe how cool everyone was. Typically even the funkiest bands attract D.C.’s khaki and button down-shirt fuckboy crowd).

How could this night get any better? Then it did.

The vibe turns electric… they close out their first set to the Beatles’ “Dear Prudence.” Bee and I LOVE the Beatles, we sing arm and arm yelling ‘DEARRRR PRUDENCEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE” I can’t believe this. Did we get to witness a rare showing of the Beatles?? My night is made. I’ve a little intoxicated , my heart is happy, and I’ve had a night with my soul sister.

(Yet ANOTHER editor’s note from BEE (hey it’s my blog!): I’m obsessed with ALL the mashups on Zonkey but especially “Come as your Kids” and “National Loser’s Anthem.”)

Checkout Bee’s two current Umphrey’s faves below.  And the set list from their show at the Anthem here .



Oh fuck it “Sad Clint Eastwood” is great, too.

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