Umphrey’s McGee jams into the Lake Tahoe night

Tahoe Onstage

Umphrey’s McGee jam Harrah’s Lake Tahoe’s South Shore Room on March 22, 2018.
Tahoe Onstage photos by Kurt E. Johnson

Chicago jam band Umphrey’s McGee played an exceptionally long concert March 22 in Harrah’s Lake Tahoe’s South Shore Room. A highlight included an inspirational rendition of the Rolling Stone’s “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking.

“I can’t imagine the Stones doing it better than they did,” Tahoe Onstage photographer Kurt Johnson said. “It was off the chain!”

The music of Umphrey’s McGee unfolds like an unpredictable conversation between longtime friends. Its six members — Brendan Bayliss (guitar, vocals), Jake Cinninger (guitar, vocals), Joel Cummins (keyboards, piano, vocals), Andy Farag (percussion), Kris Myers (drums, vocals), and Ryan Stasik (bass) — know just how to communicate with each other on stage and in the studio. A call of progressive guitar wizardry might elicit a response of soft acoustic balladry, or a funk groove could be answered by explosive percussion. At any moment, heavy guitars can give way to heavier blues as the boys uncover the elusive nexus between jaw-dropping instrumental virtuosity and airtight songcraft.

About Kurt Johnson

Photographer Kurt E. Johnson has played drums since he was 14. He is in the South Shore blues band Mudd Bonz and the instrumental progressive psychedelic space rock band Aether Haze. He retired after a 31-year career in the Bay Area and has lived at Lake Tahoe for 10 years. His passion is concert photography and playing music. To see more of his photos, visit his website

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