Formed in December 1997 at the University of Notre Dame, guitarist/vocalist Brendan Bayliss, bassist Ryan Stasik, keyboardist Joel Cummins and drummer Mike Mirro started out as a quartet, but eventually added percussionist Andy Farag and guitarist Jake Cinninger over the next few years. When Mirro left the band to attend medical school in 2002, he was replaced by Kris Myers. They are known for their grueling touring schedule and their impressive stage setup, which offers the crowd a visual and auditory treat.
Umphrey's McGee takes a lot of influence from progressive rock and jazz fusion, most notably seen in their clean and compressed, yet complex and expressive guitar parts. Their rhythm section is impressive, shifting from funk to rock to jazz and back again without losing a single beat. They are masters of improvisation, using hand signals to convey key, tempo and time changes mid-song instead of repeating the same songs the same way every time they play.
All photos by Nate Burrell