it’s you Album Review

Umphrey’s has been a busy band. Within the past five months, the group has released a fantastic album, played over thirty-three shows, released a remix disc, reanimated numerous side projects. Now, Umphrey’s adds to that amazing production rate with an unanticipated full-length disc, full of eccentric new tracks and studio iterations of fan favorites, ensuring that Umphrey’s zealots will certainly find something that will delight them in 2018. “it’s you” is the second solid record to come from this recording session and, similar to its predecessor, not every track is instantaneously accessible. Umphreaks will need to revisit some tracks repeatedly to make their own assessment, becoming further smitten with each listen. Where “it’s not us” focused on juxtaposition throughout every element, “it’s you” feels more like a giant soup of songs that turned out as tasty (or better) as its glossy predecessor.

Triangle Tear, with its complex opening, with its interlocking guitar and keys riffs, followed arena rock style build, starts the album off with tons of energy. Unfortunately, the over-polished, heavily layered vocals do not serve the run-on cryptic lyrics well, neither does their sing-song delivery and they are lace themselves extensively throughout the verses. When stripped from the glitz, Triangle Tear has a chance to really shine and the song is redeemed through its instrumental offerings like the opening riff, short manic guitar solos, and a breakout cessation segment which acts as a placeholder for prospective improvisational drop-ins in a live environment.

(Editor’s Note: Since we penned this review, Triangle Tear was played live at Summercamp Music Festival…and it sounds much better live.)

What We Could Get is a crunchy, Jake Cinninger led tune that is interjected by haunting vocals, a wailing guitar riff and a passionate, engaging chorus. A fuzzy, subtle acoustic guitar creates a satisfying depth to flesh out the resonant verses as concise riffs provide breaks between chorus cycles.

The following track, Push & Pull, highlights Brendan Bayliss’ trademark enigmatic lyrics which feel as if they could apply to a myriad of situations. The minstrel’s ability to say something profound without being over specific has been a hallmark of the band since inception, and here the words triumph impeccably. There are no snarling solos or resounding drums. Instead, vocals are the main feature and the end of the tune is accentuated by a Beatles-esque harmonized section that would make Paul McCartney grin.

One of the strongest tracks on the album is In the Black. Though the band has only taken the tune out of the garage for tune-ups a few times since the song, the jam has drummed up considerable demand among the fanbase. It was only a matter of time before this refined monster made its way back onstage. Instructions as to paying one’s debts and getting a word in are embedded in complex, orchestrated verses that jerkily hop to the chorus. Towards the end of the track, the hollow call of ‘Maybe it’s me and I’m misunderstanding you, lately it feels like I’m never getting through’ only gains meaning with each restatement until its powerful cry breaks into an monumental solo.

There is beauty in simplicity and Xmas at Wartime embodies this, especially when said clarity is surrounded by the complex cavalcade that is an Umphrey’s album. Lyricless quiet space can often be an unheralded respite and Xmas at Wartime exemplifies that tranquility. The keys interlace exquisitely with the acoustic guitars, reminding us of snowflakes in December and inspiring unalloyed emotion for the listener.

Seasons has a mesmerizing and jarring effect, forming a track that gleefully skips between main sections abruptly. Unfortunately, the hallway vocal effects detract slightly from the delivery of Bayliss’ thoughtfully crafted lyrics. This is easy to forgive as other elements like background guitars, interweaved piano and moogy key solos, make this a highlight among the previously unheard tunes. Light touches from the group’s special percussionist Andy Farag are scattered throughout the song, crescendoing to powerful, thunderous hand drum segment that swells the fervor within your spirit. Keyboardist Joel Cummin’s solitary trail off at the end adds a stupendous emotional brush stroke to a fantastically executed track, one we will hopefully hear many iterations of for years to come.

The heaviest track on “its you” is easily Netherand it shares the most in common with some of the bolder “it’s not us” tracks, blending tonal splashes from Dark Brush and Looks into a ritual that may cause you to redig through the closet for your Blood Altar. A gently distorted palm muted riff is quickly intermixed with whirling spiral keys. There is so much to love about this song. From the irrepressible lyrics and stilted build to the minute details, like a twinkling layer of Joel’s piano buried deep within the mix, or Kris Meyer’s snap drums and swift high-hat play, make for a delightfully produced tune that might be the best on the disc.

Like a drunken round hollered among arm in arm buddies across a crowded tavern, Hanging Chads makes for a amusing reprieve with a happy hate song. This track will be a ton of fun live one day, you can nearly imagine a room full of Umphreaks shouting the explicit lyrics in unison.

Veteran Attachments was born for the studio. Though the song debuted in late 2015 and has seen fifty-two plays since premier, in a live environment it often becomes muddled and fails to hold together sonically or to elevate into a meaningful jam. Not so on “it’s you”. The guitars are extremely well captured. The harmonies are clear and all falsettos pulled flawlessly. The solo is deliberate, skillful and sprightly. Studio clarity allows this track to truly shine as one of the few tracks in Umphrey’s catalogue that is better in the booth.

Fan favorite Upward is the strongest song lyrically on the disc.  This track has been a fan favorite since its inception in 2014,  when it had been paired with its inebriated falsetto brother Onwards at UMBowl 5, and it’s easy to see why. The first minute of Upward’s studio iteration is a bit different than its live antecedents: Bayliss, a lone acoustic guitar and a hanging electric high note punctuating the space. It nearly changes the entire mood of the song, momentarily lending a stripped bare take to a jam that’s always seemed so gloriously grandiose. The new arrangement can be a bit jarring for those who have become so familiar with the standard Upward’s intro, however, that familiarity is restored as the percussion comes crashing in before the second verse. The studio version does justice to a track already cemented into heavy rotation, sitting at a seat among the classics.

 

It is inevitable and somewhat unfair to “it’s you” that it always will be compared with“it’s not us” – the naming convention and time of release basically begs us to, though they are not audibly companion pieces. Without that contrast they stand on their own as separate, expertly crafted compositions. Many of the newest tunes are not as immediately accessible as anything from “it’s not us“, the band’s latest release probably shouldn’t be a novice’s first listen. That said, song-for-song, “it’s you” is more enjoyable than its precursor and seasoned Umphreaks will be gratified to find this disc has shed the poppy sheen that glossed the band’s previous work.

It is prototypical Umphrey’s to craft a secret, intricate and epic surprise like their most recent album.  The backend of the album is stacked with contenders for masterpiece jam vehicle mainstays and we can only hope that the songs on “it’s you” receive more live attention than their most recent forerunners. While Umphrey’s has yet to recreate a studio chef-dœuvre on par with their 2009 opus “Mantis”, it is not for lack of trying, and with “it’s you” their beginning to breach that level once more. The best part of this album is that it ignites excitement and optimism in the heart of any devotee. This is obviously not a band waning, relegating themselves to a handful of bustout-less shows in select easy sell out cities. Instead, this is a band who will not rest until they get the chance to give us their best, who is dedicated to the continued crafting distinct, unpredictable and challenging music in both live and studio environments. We happily intend to listen to every note of it.

Top Tracks:
Nether
Seasons
In the Black
Upward

 

It’s Not Us Review

It’s Not Us, the most recent release from Umphrey’s McGee, is an extremely diverse and well crafted disc, showcasing some of Umphrey’s best studio work in quite some time. While the band is unquestionably at their best in a live environment, they have occasionally produced groundbreaking studio work, and while it’s unlikely It’s Not Us will be nominated for an Album of the Year at the Grammys, it will more than meet the expectations of thousands Umphreaks nationwide. The recording feigns hints of a more cohesive work, but overall lacks a motif or story to bind it track by track. Instead, this is an album about juxtaposition where contrast is a constant from song to song or even verse to verse, lyrically and musically. There is a lot to discover buried in each layer and fans will find themselves falling further in love on each relisten. The album succeeds to entertain, enlighten and inspire on many levels, forming what is easily Umphrey’s strongest release since Mantis.

The album is energetic from its outset. Leadoff track The Silent Type has morphed considerably from the fan favorite lyrical Jimmy Stewarts formerly known as “Cigarette Cables”. The fuzz distortion has a Miami Virtue theme semi-grubby sound that feels like driving down the Florida shoreline. The distortion on the vocals here is appropriate and works well with Brendan’s voice. The layered guitars add considerable depth to the new arrangement, helping the track escape beyond it’s poppy shell.

As with many tracks on It’s Not Us, Looks sounds best through headphones where all the nuances can be distinctly heard. A lumbering 80s goth industrial sound is alive and well within this song. The rhythm formed by bassist Ryan Stasik’s prominent plucking offers a funk verse vibe that contrasts heavily with the open, airy chorus. The centerpiece of the track is an out of tune King Crimsonesque solo that adds appropriate spice to a cumbersome number.

Whistle Kids sheds off the grimy glam for a laid back rock vibe and some blues licks. The song, written about recovering from a hangover while dealing with children, is wittily composed and the vocals are well harmonized. The simple, stripped down track stands out nicely in comparison to all the layered and heavy on this disc.

Half Delayed bears reflections of The Smashing Pumpkins Drown. Built of shoegazey verses eventually bear way to a distorted crescendo where dual guitars drive and ascend in an energetic fuzz flight that promises to be a improvisation launchpad in the future.

Maybe Someday is the most instrumentally complex song on the album. A frankenstein of many hodgepodge segments glued together, the band pans genres from rock to jazz in this opus. The transitions between sections are fairly smooth and each portion of the song is unique and captivating in its own way. The stratum of sound from percussionist Andy Farag up through Brendan’s vocals is deep and fascinating. Make sure to listen to this track through headphones.

Remaining fairly true to it’s live incarnations, Remind Me embodies the rest of the album as a track perfectly divided between smooth and heavy. The shoulder shuffling, slinky guitar of the first segment accompanies well formed verses. The heavy section is formed by Joel’s haunting mellotron keys, insane finger flicking guitar solos and double bass drum kick pedal mania.

You and You Alone is simply gorgeous. The strongest track on the album lyrically, Brendan recites pure poetry in a love ballad that reflects on marriage and parenthood at once. Soft key chords mix seamlessly with quiet guitar licks, swelling sentiment until listeners are overcome. While there are many songs of sorrow among the Umphrey’s catalog, this dabble into lovesongs is exemplary and will make even the most stoic face shed a tear.

We have heard Forks a couple times live before. The album incarnation is very similar but heavily plays up the 80s elements in the best way. The track is peppered with symphonic sparkles and moves at a brisk, uplifting pace. A sense of exuberance runs throughout some of Brendan’s most cryptic lyrics on the album, music one could run marathons listening to.

Speak Up debuted live in 2015 but didn’t start to become interesting until the band opened it for expansive improvisation.  The studio rendition is playful and sprightly, relying heavily on keyboardist Joel Cummin’s fat organ notes, escorted by special guest saxophonist Joshua Redman.

The album’s low point is near the end. Piranhas has failed to develop into an interesting tune since its debut in 2014. A fairly straightforward cut from live to studio, the song’s linear layout and lack of variance cannot hold a candle to the surrounding tracks. The pop flavor and conventional structure creates a standard song. Previous efforts with a similar sequential build, like The Linear or Conduit, have been far more successful songs of a similar vein.

Listen to Dark Brush three times before you come to a conclusion about it. A driving distorted riff and breathy, haunting vocals make this tour de force heavy enough to be the new Wizards Burial Ground, and that will cause a decisive rift among listeners. Nothing this bold within the “jamband” community should be without debate. Dark Brush successfully takes the best elements of predecessors like Hindsight and Little Gift from 2014’s Similar Skin, and combines them with enough adventure and terror to generate nightmare specter scenery for any listener. Muffled, distorted banter and the overwhelming howl of the chorus will have this seance somehow stuck in your head.

On It’s Not Us, the band does an excellent job taking calculated risks while continuously evoking classic Umphrey’s sounds and techniques. Rhythmically the band takes lots of chances with lyrical pacing and more often than not it pays off. The boys have shown a preference to turn towards the heavy on studio albums and, in this scenario, it is a resonating audioscape nicely sprinkled with subtle sonic shimmers. The infrequent stumbles in songs do not detract from the overall audio experience whatsoever. This is not an Umphrey’s Dance Party record, though one can hear obvious on-ramps into future rhythmic Jimmy Stewarts, especially in the segues between diametrically opposed sections. There is lots to uncover here and while not every track will make it into heavy rotation, the majority should become mainstays. Embracing divergence and contrast, It’s Not Us confirms that Umphrey’s occasionally is able to surprise in studio like they often do on stage.

Top Tracks:
Whistle Kids
Maybe Someday
Remind Me
You & You Alone
Dark Brush

UMANON Radio in 2017?

Should Umphreak’s Anonymous revive their livestreaming radio project?

In early 2016, we killed off a pet project that we adored, but had neither the time or funding to support properly, Umphreaks Anonymous Radio. Inspired by Sirius/XM’s “Grateful Dead Channel”, SCIRadio.com and other similar projects, we created a 24/7 online streaming hub where fans could tune in from anywhere and hear Umphrey’s AUDs of new shows and SBDs of classics, alongside original podcasts, special events broadcasts, and more. However, because Umphreak’s Anonymous is a fan administered volunteer organization which focuses on celebrating the fanbase AND the music that we love, we soon found that we could not self-fund UMANON Radio. We considered selling advertising time to Pinjas and other scene related artists as a way to keep the feel of the radio within our culture and not have it be some ugly Google Adspace (our website contains no advertisements, either), but the organization this would require was nearly impossible for our small team in 2016.

Now, we are punting the idea of reviving Umphreak’s Anonymous Radio, seeing if the community would have an interest in kickstarting the project. For around $200, we can likely revive Umphreak’s Anonymous Radio and provide the team enough resources to purchase the multicast space and create original podcasts (likely once monthly) for a year. If it goes well, we could likely create more podcasts, and accept fan created podcasts of quality to put on the stream.

However we’ve been wondering if this is something the fanbase would even be interested in? One thing we know about Umphreaks, they love their favorite shows or listening to the most recent one the whole way through. Umphreaks also already have many options to get their music, including Nugs.Net and UMLive and our souce, Archive.org. That also brings up a point as well, the Radio is powered by Archive.org because we do not own the rights to broadcast new Umphrey’s SBDs across the globe – that would probably require several hundred, or possibly thousand, more dollars. Not all the audio is crispy (though some is quite crisp), and tapers are a megavital resource to keeping music alive and FREE for the public, and the band certainly seems to recognize, respect and love it. Either way – is this, a 24 hour streaming Umphrey’s station, something Umphreaks would even use?

As we move into 2017, Umphreak’s Anonymous has big plans as part of a refocusing of our resources. We’re moving our website away from its previous social structure (though there are forums there), and refocusing on multimedia that highlights the fanbase and those who are addicted to the facemelting jams we crave. This likely means the active return of the Umphreak Collective (our creative online fanzine), and our humorous blog The Utopian Blur. This also means continuing to feature absolutely gorgeous photography from some of the best who capture our favorite band, like Tara Gracer Design & Photography. We want to be more than your standard community fanpage. This amazing band has some amazing fans, and as a community we can create some cool shit – we’ve never asked those that follow this page to fund any of our projects before, and we’re not certain the community would even want to create this tool or if you would rather see us focus on something else (and if so, what?!), but we want to put these concepts out there incase it’s something you’d like to help us create. Should we?

Happy new year, all! Lets rage together in 2017!

[photo from Tara Gracer, New Years Eve Run 2016]

7/9/2016 Setlist – New tune, amazing song selection…

07.09.2016 THE FILLMORE, CHARLOTTE, NC, USA

Set 1: Lord Bail Ship[1] > 1348 > White Man’s Moccasins, Loose Ends > Resolution > Similar Skin, Dump City, Spires > The Floor

Set 2: The Bottom Half > Sweetness > Cut the Cable > The Bottom Half, Red Tape > Meeting in the Aisle > Red Tape, Phil’s Farm > 1348

Encore: Time

[1] debut, original
Support: The Werks

Holy Shit! 7/2/2016 Was MINDMELTING! Setlist inside!

Fucking ridiculous show last night….
07.02.2016 RED ROCKS AMPHITHEATRE, MORRISON, CO, USA
Set 1: Glory > In The Kitchen, Roctopus, Speak Up > Water > Utopian Fir[1] > Muffin Man[2]
 
Set 2: Bridgeless -> 2×2, Bright Lights, Big City, Der Bluten Kat > I’m On Fire > Der Bluten Kat, Day Nurse, Bridgeless
 
Encore: Booth Love > Miss Tinkle’s Overture
 
[1] with Dweezil Zappa on guitar
[2] debut, Frank Zappa; with Dweezil Zappa on guitar and vocals
Support: Dweezil Zappa and Sinkane
In town and need Denver tips? Check out our Umphreaks Survival Guide:
Photo taken by the always amazing Tara Gracer!

Tonight’s Show

Jun 29, 2016
Wednesday
Brenton Skating Plaza
Des Moines, IA
7:30 PM
Show Time

Price: $25.00 IN ADVANCE, $30.00 DAY OF SHOW

Doors Open: 6:30 PM
Start Time: 7:30 PM

Ages:ALL

  • tickets are available through Ticketfly
  • Headphones & Snowcones upgrades are being offered for this show; for more information, please visit umphreys.com/tour/headphones-snowcones

Umphreak’s Anonymous’ Colorado Travel Guide

For the past several years, we have posted our Colorado Travel Map, generally listing several rageplaces and their Facemelt-Factors so that you know where to go to gorge yourself on fantastic food, micro-brewed madness and ass shaking after-shows. Below you will find the map, as crafted over the past several years with suggestions by Umphreaks for Umphreaks. Compiled from suggestions made by fans in the Colorado Umphreaks group! We will try to highlight some of our favorite spots and we have updated the map as best we can over the past few years. YOU can always help us by submitting your suggestions to us!

(photos by Tara Gracer, Suggestions compiled from Colorado Umphreaks and edited by the team at Umphreak’s Anonymous)

Having Trouble Viewing the Map? Click here!


Music

The Fillmore 1510 N Clarkson St, Denver, CO 80218
DescriptionA large ballroom with giant purple chandeliers, the Fillmore is the best of the “barn” variety of indoor venues. There will be small lines entering the venue at door opening and shortly before Umphrey’s goes on, but nothing like the clusterfuck we saw at the Aragon.
Heady Factor
The main hurrah for this three night run! A fairly relaxed venue with enough space to handle all the Umphreaks we can muster. So far the Fillmore has hosted Umphrey’s 15 times, including such classics as 2/11/2011 and the 2013 NYE run. We are expecting another barn burner.

BeOnKey Psychelic Ripple 1700 Logan St, Denver, CO 80203
Description:
Absolutely amazing Grateful Dead bar with tons of live music that usually runs pretty late night. The reincarnation of Bianchi’s Quixotes True Blue, Atleast two stages inside the venue, Jerry pictures everywhere, most likely to be a spot of massive after-shows.
Heady Factor:  Very near the Fillmore Auditorium. So far, BeOnKey has only announced aftershows for one night of the New Years run, Tula on December 29th – Tickets here.

Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom 2635 Welton St, Denver, CO 80205
Description: 
Cervante’s is a large dual venue which has been home to Umphrey’s before (most recently in 2007) and UM Mondays for a short while. The place tends to bring through bigger acts than Quixotes, but not festy headliners. Might be a great location for after shows/parties.
Heady Factor: 
Larger than Quixotes, mellow staff, right near the light rail, north of downtown. Has not yet announced any aftershows or late night events over the NYE run.

Your Mom’s House 608 E 13th Ave Suite 1, Denver, CO 80203
Description:  
New Capitol Hill venue built out of the old Beauty Bar.
Heady Factor: Very near the Fillmore. Has not yet announced any aftershows or late night events over the NYE run.

Owsley’s Golden Road 1301 Broadway, Boulder, CO 80302
DescriptionScene Friendly venue, plenty of wooks.
Heady FactorBoulder incarnation of the “hippie bar” from infamous owner Jay Bianchi. Has not yet announced any aftershows or late night events over the NYE run.

Bars & Breweries & LiQuor Stores

Argonaut Wine & Liquor 760 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80203
Description: 
One of the best liquor stores in the city also just happens to be right across the street from the Fillmore, 1up, Sliceworks, Sanchos, Cheba Hut and many other fine Denver establishments.
Heady Factor: 
Variety, decent prices, quick service. This is your “Binnys” of Denver. They have everything to getcha drunk.

The 1up LoDo 1925 Blake St, Denver, CO 80202
Description
This bar is some of the best fun in the city when it comes to the drinking scene. Pretty much an adult arcade with all your favorite old school games – and giant Jenga. If you’re closer to the Fillmore, check out 2up, it’s the younger Brother of 1up.
Heady Factor
Dude, get drunk while playing giant Jenga and arcade games. Biggest issue is that it’s not close to the Fillmore (it’s not too far either if you’re staying downtown – and it’s smaller cousin, 2up, is right next to The Fillmore…so they got you covered)

Denver Beer Company 1695 Platte St, Denver, CO 80202
Description:
Heady Factor: 
Trendy Lo-hi brewery on the West side of downtown, great outdoor patio if the weather is nice. Beers for all types – Princess Yum Yum for wheat drinkers, Incredible Pedal for IPA drinkers.

Prost Brewing Company 2540 19th St, Denver, CO 80211
Description:
Heady Factor:
 Prost does things the old school German way and their beer is fantastic because of it.

Grandma’s House 1710 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80210
Description: Small time Brewery that is built to look like the basement in your grandma’s house, except they brew beer. There’s a super Nintendo and lots of knitting stuff, puzzles and games.
Heady Factor:  You read the description, right? This place is the shit.

Crooked Stave 3350 Brighton Blvd, Denver, CO 80216
Description:
  Located in an extremely cute mixed market type venue “The Source”, Crooked Stave is known for their delicious sours!
Heady Factor:  Some of the best Sours in the Rocky Mountains, Crooked Stave does not disappointed. The Source is a bit trendy and hipster, but it’s great to stop into the shops and enjoy the design of the space.

Locavore Beer Works 5950 S Platte Canyon Rd, Littleton, CO 80123
Description:
Locavore has a wide variety of beers that will appeal to any pallet. Located in a strip mall far south in Littleton, 
Heady Factor:
Flavorful beers including fruity, spicey, bitter, malty, sour…all delicious.

HONORABLE MENTIONS

Epic Brewery (RiNo) 3001 Walnut St, Denver, CO 80205
Wynkoop Brewing Company (Downtown)1634 18th St, Denver, CO 80202
Zephyr Brewering (RiNo)
1609 E 58th Ave Unit G, Denver, CO 80216

RESTAURANTS

Watercourse Foods 837 E 17th Ave, Denver, CO 80203
Description: 
Absolutely amazing vegetarian eats – if you’re into that sort of thing.
Heady Factor:
Heady vegetarian food that anyone would be interested in. Very very good stuff and generally packed. Make reservations. Difficult to find street parking.

Steuben’s 523 E 17th Ave, Denver, CO 80203
Description: 
American Standard Dine-In/Take Out Joint
Heady Factor: 
Nice throw back feel, in a way. Good cocktails, mostly meaty with the standard veggie bar food options.

Vine Street Pub & Brewery 1700 Vine St, Denver, CO 80206 
Description:  
A division of Mountain Sun Brewery in Boulder, this funky spot has excellent food for all types and absolutely delicious beer to quench the pallet.
Heady Factor: 
Great micro-brewed beer and an excellent variety of dishes – both omnivore and herbivore.

El CHAPULTEPEC 1962 Market St, Denver, CO 80202
Description: 
live jazz, late hours & Mexican chow served on paper plates.
Heady Factor: 
Semi Dive Bar / Jazz Bar Denver Classic

City O’ City 206 E 13th Ave, Denver, CO 80203
Description:
Excellent vegetarian eats very close inbetween Downtown and the Fillmore area.
Heady Factor:
 Sorta like Watercourse (owned by the same folks, but nowhere near as good. Seriously go to Watercourse or Root Down instead if you have the option) but closer to downtown. High class eats, just as packed as Watercourse – down the street from  The Black Box or BeOnKeys in Capitol Hill. Food is good but the service is HORRIBLE, so make sure you get here early and don’t let them talk down to you.

Root Down 1600 W 33rd Ave, Denver, CO 80211
Description:
On Saturdays and Sundays this place has amazing brunch! On the weekdays it just has damn good food – if you’re staying out this way, definitely consider Root Down. Reservations required. Definitely can cater to your veg-friendly friends. 
Heady Factor: 
Very nice highland spot with excellent food. If you’re staying up north / near Coors, this is a great place to go for breakfast…if you can get in.

The Kitchen 1039 Pearl St, Boulder, CO 80302
Description: 
Caitlin W once again providing the heads up on this tasty Boulder locale: “nicer restaurant and pricier, but if you want a nice night out, take a look at the menu. I don’t normally like lamb (most places do it wrong), but I nearly stole my dad’s plate so I could finish his lamb. “
Heady Factor:  
Nice, fancy, pricey place with delicious eats if you’re looking for a more eloquent night out.

Sushi Sasa 2401 15th St, Denver, CO 80202
Description: 
Super fun sushi chefs making creative treats sound like your thing? Sushi Sasa is highly recommended.
Heady Factor:
 Sushi near downtown right off confluence park? Epic views and delicious feats are in your future…

Blue Bonnet Cafe 457 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80209
Description: 
Considered iconic Denver mexican near the “SoBo” neighborhood. Offers fairly decent food at a fairly decent price, and right near a very fun neighborhood with plenty of bars, a indie-film theaters 
Heady Factor: 


My Brother’s Bar 2376 15th St, Denver, CO 80202
Description: 
Old time bar with sandwiches and burgers, has a semi-Eastern European feel with lots of onions and kraut. It’s not the most sterile of environments in the world but it’s not a dive bar either, somewhere in-between. 
Heady Factor:
  Serving food until 2am many nights. Infamous bar which was frequented by Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady. Can’t get a better endorsement than that. You can read more about Denver’s Beat Legacy at http://www.denver.org/things-to-do/itineraries/beat-legacy/

The Copper Pot on Broadway 2796 S Broadway, Englewood, CO 80113
Description: 
N/A
Heady Factor: 
Surprisingly good food and a nice little bar make this place a great southside stop-in

Park & CO. 439 E 17th Ave, Denver, CO 80203
Description: 
Casual eats in uptown. Close to, but not in, downtown. Nearby the venue. 
Heady Factor:
 Burgers and whiskey. Enough said.

Nicolo’s Chicago Style Pizza 1209 E 13th Ave, Denver, CO 80218
Description:
  Chicago Style? Pretty damn close. They do deep dish, they do square sliced thin crust. It may not be D’Agustinos or Ginos, but it’s pretty damn good, best we’re gonna get a mile from the sea. Part of the Northside Pizza War that Denver has ongoing.
Heady Factor: This location is in the heart of Capitol Hill and is easily accessible if you’re staying at your hipster friend’s house or near the venue. Keep it to this location only – the other Nicolo’s around town just aren’t the same as they franchise out the name.

Jerusalem Restaurant 1890 E Evans Ave, Denver, CO 80210
Description: 
Delicious middle eastern 24/7. We have no idea why this place was not on the list before, open late late and full of absolute deliciousness.
Heady Factor: 
There are few better late night spots than Jerusalem if you’re down for falafel or gyros. This place is near DU and never closes. You are guaranteed some delicious middle eastern madness.

Public School 303 1959 16th St, Denver, CO 80202
Description: 
Sports bar with a HIgh School theme.
Heady Factor: 
 Fun spot with good beers in the outskirts of the Union Station area. Just don’t order their burgers, they never turn out right. Tasty place otherwise, somewhat trendy but it’s fun, it’s easily accessible if you’re on the west side of 16th street (near Union Station).

Linger 2030 W 30th Ave, Denver, CO 80211
Description:  
One of the most popular spots in Denver. Probably some of the more infamous dining in our fair city.
Heady Factor: 
This spot is built out of an old mortuary. Eat on the roof under the neon lighting and have an absolutely breathtaking view of the city.

 

Take out

Slice Works 700 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80203
Description: 
Not quite take out, not quite dine in, Denver Sliceworks is part of the “northside pizza war” that appears to be going on between quite a few establishments in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. Creative flavors and different style crusts are combined with excellent location and a swanky upstairs bar. Definitely a great spot to hit up on your way to the Fillmore.
Heady Factor:
  Very close to the venue, decent hours and both dine in/take out style options. Pizza is fairly delicious and more creative than some traditional joints.

Sexy Pizza 1018 E 11th Ave, Denver, CO 80218
Description: 
Fast New York style pizza. A little greasy, but damn good.
Heady Factor:
 Part of the “northside pizza war” that we have going on in this city…this is one of Denver’s better NY style pies. Thin crust and large triangles. If you’re from the east coast, this pizza isn’t all that spectacular, but when you live a mile high, this is almost as good as it gets. They have a vegan pizza option for your vegan friends!

Sexy Pizza South Pearl 1579 S Pearl St, Denver, CO 80210
Description: 
[See: Sexy Pizza] Southern version of it’s northern neighbor
Heady Factor:
 [See: Sexy Pizza]

Sunny Gardens Restaurant 6460 E Yale Ave, Denver, CO 80222
Description: 
If you find yourself southeast in the city, Sunny Gardens may be the best option, as far as Chinese food, for you! Excellent delivery within two miles and lots of options for vegetarians. I mean, like, an insane amount of vege meat (as well as regular meat). Pretty fucking awesome!! 
Heady Factor: 
If you’re looking to order in and you’re staying down south, this place is the DELICIOUSNESS. Fast, fairly cheap, damn good take out. You can get delivery to soothe your hangover with a mid-afternoon lunch, with plenty of faux-meat options for your vegetarian homies.

US THAI CAFE 5228 W 25th Ave, Edgewater, CO 80214
Description: 
Some like it hot. Especially US Thai Cafe. They spice the shit out of their food, so if you want it just a little spicy, keep it low on the number scale
Heady Factor: 
If you DO like it hot, this is the place for you. Sure, it’s not authentic, but it gets the job done while scorching your pallet and sometimes that’s all you need. 

The Über Sausage 2730 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80206
Description:
 
Heady Factor:  Gourmet Sausage sandwich insanity on Colfax! http://theubersausage.com/east-colfax

Cheba Hut 638 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80202 or 1531 Champa St, Denver, CO 80202  and multiple other locations around Colorado
Description: 
Who can deny the hut? WIth multiple weed themed subs, sub sizes, heady atmosphere and proximity to the venue make this an awesome spot for your New Years Pregame. Stuff for everyone and it’s quite possible you’ll hear Umphrey’s over the speakers.
Heady Factor:
These guys are Umphreaks and there are Cheba Huts both Downtown and right across the street from the venue, Fuck yeah! 

Illegal Petes 1530 16th St, Denver, CO 80202 & 2001 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80206
Description:  Easy line-based Mexican food that allows you to customize large size burritos. Lots of options for Vegetarians and Meat Eaters alike, they have a decent bar and usually good tunes. 
Heady Factor:  Good folks, good food. Their potatoes have changed recently and people were not fans, but everything else is delicious

BREAKFAST

The Breakfast Queen #2 3460 S Broadway, Englewood, CO 80113
Description: 
Good olde fashioned, old timey breakfast at a good price. This place is just a greasey spoon, but it’s excellent if that’s what you’re looking for. If there is an “after-show” at the Gothic/if you’re staying down south nearly Englewood or Littleton, this might be the best spot for you to grab some grub the morning after the show. There is a long wait, so if you run into a insane line, consider heading up to Breakfast on Broadway.
Heady Factor: 
greasy spoon! hash browns, pancakes, omelettes…mmmm, fattening goodness!

Breakfast on Broadway  2901 S Broadway, Englewood, CO 80113
Description:  
Englewood, Colorado is in love with the Greasey Spoon. If you find yourself scrounging from breakfast on Sunday morning, and are down south in the City or are staying in Littleton, this place is a great alternative to the massive line that is Breakfast Queen…and it’s only six blocks down the street.
Heady
FactorYou can prebook reservations using the Yelp! app. So if you time it right, you can wait right from your couch.

Denver Biscuit Company
Description:
Specializes in Biscuits for Breakfast
Heady Factor: 
OMG Delicious Gourmet Biscuits that aren’t Disco?! You don’t say! This eatery has grown from an upstart to a mainstay with tons on the menu! A few  (not many) veg-friendly options. 

Denver Diner
Description: 
Infamous and open late, the Denver Diner has a great location and swanky old school digs. Too bad their food isn’t all that great, but it’s nothing to spit up over either. If you’re downtown and looking for a nearby nighttime snack, Denver Diner might be your answer.
Heady Factor: 
Recently rebuilt after a fire, this near-24 hour greasy spoon with maybe too much grease, but great location with its proximity to downtown and the light rail make this an excellent late night grub choice.

Jelly
Description: One of the best, sugariest breakfasts in the country. Umphrey’s fans will appreciate the bacon-maple donuts. Hell, everyone appreciates them.
Heady Factor:  
Instant Diabetes. No…seriously. Instant, bring insulin.

Waffle Brothers
Description: Trendy Waffles on the Uptown/Cap Hill border, a neighborhood full of great bars and restaurant
Heady Factor: 
Another one of those ultrasugar joints (we sure have a lot of them, huh?!), this place is built out of an old house, has an extensive menu of dank waffles available, and has a nice outdoor eating area though it’ll likely be too cold for that. 

Snooze
Description:  
Snooze is one of our more popular breakfast establishments, and has now opened a location on Colorado Blvd and within Union Station. Even so, expect a wait. They are most well known for their pancakes! 
Heady Factor:

Jelly U Cafe
Description: 
This “down south” version is one of the best breakfasts in Denver. Its unlikely Umphreaks will be making it down here from the Fillmore, but if you’re staying down by the University or Corey Merrill neighborhoods, this would be a good spot for easily accessible breakfast.
Heady Factor:
 The down south version of Jelly. Same great taste, same insane amount of sugar – health nuts beware, this place is pretty sweet…as in full of sweets…as in, not good for your health. But great for your tummy and tastebuds.

Lucile’s 2124 14th St, Boulder, CO 80302
Description: 
Boulder Location of the popular NOLA style eatery.
Heady Factor:
 Staying in Boulder? Easy to get Beneddicted to their Eggs Benedict

Pete’s Kitchen
Description: 
Infamous greasy spoon style breakfasts – a little bit east of the venue but easily reachable, open 24 hours a day to serve grub for you hungry Umphreaks
Heady Factor: 2
4/7 traditional American breakfast throwdown with a few greek dishes available as well. Damn good.

The Buff Restaurant 2600 Canyon Blvd, Boulder, CO 80302
Description:
Boulder Coffee Bar Bar
Heady Factor: 
Coffee Bar with Bar, this place has delicious eats as well as a freaking awesome .99 cent Mimosa/Tequila Sunrise/Bloody Mary deal with purchase of an entree (limit 3, drunks).

Dozens 236 W 13th Ave, Denver, CO 80204
Description:
Delicious straight forward breakfast food inside of a cute little house near the downtown area. The dishes are all named after Colorado landmarks and locales. 
Heady Factor:
Omelettes here are pretty excellent. Expect a line unless you’re up early due to the downtown proximity and the fact that this is a weekend holiday.

The Delectable Egg 1642 Market St, Denver, CO 80202 &  1625 Court Pl, Denver, CO 80202
Description:
Two downtown-proper locations on either end of the 16th Street Mall have helped to set this place up as a Denver mainstay. Their menu is traditional but extensive and you’re certain to find something delicious. The wait is never too too long (for the most part) and they’re generous with their coffee.
Heady Factor:
I love the Peanut Butter Crunch French Toast personally, but anything I’ve had here has been amazing. Great stumbling distance if you’re staying downtown and there’s no breakfast in your hotel.

The Duffeyroll Cafe 1290 S Pearl St, Denver, CO 80210
Description:
 A Duffeyroll is sorta like a combo between a mini-cinnamon roll and a doughnut. There are quite a few locations spread out around Denver and they can make a tasty breakfast in a hurry if you’re craving sweet over savory. 
Heady Factor: Zesty Orange and Mountain Maple are my choice but the toppings are quite sweet so make sure to choose something you’d like intense flavor of. That said, it’s a damn good quick breakfast in the University area or further south.

Habit Donut Dispensary 1553 Platte St #130, Denver, CO 80202
Description: 
Simply some of the most amazing doughnuts in Denver. Voodoo gets all the attention but Habit is the truly local spot. Hand crafted, one of a kind treats made daily and small batch stylie. It’s. So. Damn. Good.
Heady Factor: 
Habit Doughnuts fashions itself as a doughnut dispensary bodega, and has whiskey, papers, lighters, condoms and anything else you might need to snag if you’re staying in the neighborhood and need something fast!

The Fractured Prune 9696 E Arapahoe Rd, Greenwood Village, Colorado 80112
Description:
Heady Factor: 
Make your own donuts. Not close to the city, but if you find yourself in the southeast – there’s a place to make your own donuts!

Sassafrass
Description: 
Extremely popular breakfast joint with vegetarian options, damn good breakfast and damn good drinks. Proximity to the venue and eclectic menu make this a great choice for your breakfast needs.
Heady Factor:

OUTDOORS

Red Rocks Park and Ampitheater
Description: 
Hiking, picnicing – year round, this is an amazing place to go. A worthy experience even without ongoing concerts there.
Heady Factor: 
Nothing doin’ for this run but this place is super amazing beautiful funtimes! If you’re heading up I-70, You should definitely stop by just to enjoy the view.

Denver Botanic Gardens
Description: 
Absolutely beautiful in the winter – the Botanic Gardens are generally decked out in tons of Christmas lights. Probably a super festive place to go during this time of year.
Heady Factor: 
Christmas lights and occasionally other super cool events.

Golden Gate Canyon State Park
Description: 
The views from this place are spectacular. Not willing to go far from Denver but want to have a beautiful drive and an awesome experience in a short few hours? Definitely suggesting Golden Gate Canyon State Park
Heady Factor: 
Beautiful views close to home

Chatfield State Park
Description:
During the summer it is our swimmin’ resevoir here in Denver. May provide beautiful views of the Foothills and a nice get away from the Urban while not terribly far from the city. Not necessarily the worlds most amazing state park.
Heady Factor:
 Not going to be a great spot in the winter. It is one of the closest accessible camping locations to Red Rocks in the summer.

Cherry Creek State Park
Description:
 Huge southern “hole in the ground” park but with a giant swimming reservoir in the center for soaking.
Heady Factor: Swimming, beaches, small hikes if you’re in the southern portion of the city. 

Rocky Mountain National Park
Description: 
Indescribable, magical…our closest majestic offering in relation to Denver, RMNP is a national treasure!
Heady Factor: 
Amazing peaks, lakes, an insane outdoor playground!

Boulder Mountain Park
Description: 
Accessible outdoor goodstuff located right outside the downtown area.  
Heady Factor:


City Park
Description: 
Gigantic city park
Heady Factor: 
A big lake, zoo and museum are all encompassed within this city park which also holds breathtaking views of the skyline and foothills. Great for a quick city-escape.

Sloan’s Lake Park
Description:
West Side Outdoor Awesomeness
Heady Factor: 
Gigantic park with a nice big lake and amazing foothill views that are perfect to take in the sunset at? Yes, please!

Bear Creek Lake Regional Park
Description: 
Fantastic little watering hole right next to Red Rocks.
Heady Factor: 
Closest to Red Rocks extremely limited camping. Do not plan on camping here – the next closest campgrounds are Chatfield and Chief Hosa. Excellent place to swim though.

Skiing/snowboarding

Vail/Beaver Creek
 Description:  Some of the best skiing in the state, possibly in the world – as long as you’re down for the 2 hour drive from Vail to Denver!
Heady Factor: 
Seriously, some of the best skiing in the country. Reachable via “The Bustang” which leaves from Denver’s Union Station in the evenings (so you’d probably have to get accomodations or something to that extent) – details at http://ridebustang.com/west-line#

Breckenridge
Description:
Heady Factor:
 Infamous slopes bro. This seems to be the “party” mountain, I always meet kids coming up here to rage and there are tons of free shows throughout the winter and spring. You can reach Breckenridge via public transit by taking the Bustang or Greyhound to Frisco, and then taking their “Stage Coach” system to Breck (as well as a few other mountains) – https://summitstage.doublemap.com/map/

Loveland Ski Area
Description:
Heady Factor: 
You know what we love about Loveland? It’s close, it’s cheap, it avoids most of the traffic you deal with on the way up I70, it’s on the continental divide, it’s gorgeous. The weather can be perilous and its runs are nowhere near as famous as those in Vail or Breck, but it’s still a treat to have somewhere of-quality less than an hour away. 

Copper Mountain
Description:
Heady Factor: 
You can reach Copper Mountain via public transit by taking the Bustang or Greyhound to Frisco, and then taking their “Stage Coach” system to Copper (as well as a few other mountains) – https://summitstage.doublemap.com/map/

Ski Cooper
Description:
Heady Factor:


Winter Park
Description:
Heady Factor:


Eldora
Description:
 If you’re staying near Boulder and need a nearby place to grab a quick day of skiing, Eldora is perfect. Much like Loveland Ski Area mentioned above, this place is close and affordable.  The mountain his more than enough to keep you interested for a few days between Umphrey’s shows.
Heady Factor:
Close. Affordable. You can get to Eldora via the PUBLIC BUS! RTD baby! Grab the ski-n-ride: http://www.rtd-denver.com/skiNRide.shtml

RECREATIONAL MEDICINE

Good Chemistry – Denver Dispensary 330 E Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80203
Description: 
Easy to access green at an inexpensive price, not far from the venue but not the greatest ganja. The service is somewhat corporate with a McGanja vibe – stand in line, read giant digital menu. 
Heady Factor: 
This place has a great price on eighths and smaller quantities and the location is great but there are other nearby options if you’re looking for quantity.

Pure Medical Dispensary 1133 Bannock St, Denver, CO 80204
Description:
This place is excellent due to its location and quantity prices, plus variety of other options. You may purchase and possess up to an ounce, and there are often oz deals for this place on Leafly or Cannasaver.
Heady Factor:
Affordable quantity, good product and a variety of edibles, patches, salves, cbd.

Terrapin Care Station – RECREATIONAL BOULDER
Description:
Heady Factor:

Natural Remedies 1620 Market St #5w, Denver, CO 80202
Description:
The quality of the product and the proximity to downtown make this dispensary worth visiting, though the price is quite high. If you’re willing to venture outside of the downtown area, you will find a better deal, but if you’re near the Union Station area and are in a hurry, Natty Rems will get the job done. 
Heady Factor:
There are occasionally deals for this spot on Cannasaver, Leafly and Weedmaps. Be sure to check there first before rollin’ out.

L’Eagle Services- Cannabis Dispensary 380 Quivas St, Denver, CO 80223
Description: 
The legal eagle is located in a very remote location in warehousey mid-Denver industrial zone, and the are where you check out feels more like a bank than a dispensary, but the people are friendly and the product is great.
Heady Factor: 
“All organic, pesticide free, the absolute cleanest buds you will ever have! They are on average a little pricier than some of the other “discount” stores but they do run excellent specials regularly that can’t be beat! Plus, at the end of the day, their product is simply the best out there and their potency is accurate so you know what to expect.” – LV

TRANSPORTATION
Caution – new years eve/new years day RTD is free from 7pm until 7am. be sure you pay attention to the schedules – new years day, RTD is running a holiday/sunday schedule and transit is less frequent.

Union Station – Denver
Description: Central Hub for Trains and Buses in Denver. North, South, East, West, light rail or regional bus might shorten your Uber. Also, it’s now a central hub in the city, brimming with bars, restaurants and people.
Heady Factor: 
It’s Union Station. If you don’t have a car or are looking to party hardy without unreasonable cab fares, this is your HUB. You ARE able to get from Denver to Boulder on the public bus, but you HAVE to be mindful of the time. The bus from Boulder to Denver cuts off sometime around 1am (http://www.rtd-denver.com/GoogleTripPlanner.shtml). You can definitely get back up there sooner or get around Denver via light rail (if you’re looking to explore)…Union will be the northernmost terminus for any trains. Several local buses that go down our main routes, like Colfax or Broadway, are located in the “Wewatta Bus Terminal at Union Station” which is this sorta cool underground station. There is a gigantic Whole Foods here if you need grub on the go. The Bustang, our regional bus system that goes to Fort Collins, Colorado Springs, Vail, Glenwood Springs, Frisco, and several other regional locations, leaves from the “Wewatta Bus Terminal at Union Station” http://ridebustang.com/ (despite the lame name, the buses kinda rock and can have wifi, charging and usb, Bathrooms, Bike racks, etc). The Colfax bus will take you straight to the Fillmore for $2.75 and comes every 15 minutes to a half hour.

16th Street Free Mallride
Description: 
It’s dirty and often quite crowded, but it gets you up and down the full length of 16th Street, from Union Station to Colfax & Broadway. On cold days it will be warm and worth it.
Heady Factor: If you’re heading from downtown to the fillmore,

Walnut & 14th – Boulder
Description:
Heady Factor: 
You ARE able to get from Denver to Boulder on the public bus, but you HAVE to be mindful of the time. The bus from Boulder to Denver cuts off sometime around 1am (http://www.rtd-denver.com/GoogleTripPlanner.shtml). You can definitely get back up there sooner or get around Denver via light rail (if you’re looking to explore)…Union station will lead up to Westminster, Golden, Littleton, Centennial, Englewood.

Greyhound Bus Terminal
Description:
Heady Factor: 
Sure, we get it – Greyhound sucks. No one wants to ride a bus cross country and get stuck in some Podunk ass nowhereseville town on your way to anywhere. But in Denver, Greyhound can give the you access to our gorgeous nearby mountain playgrounds if you are unable to rent a car or didn’t drive! Or if this was your only option into town well, you arrive right in the center of it.

Denver International Airport
Description: 
If you’re not feeling like springing for an Uber/Lyft, the A-Line will take you right downtown!  It’s only $9!
Heady Factor: 
This is the airport. If you’re coming in from out of town in a flying tube via the sky, this is where you will arrive. 


If you’ve got suggestions, we want ’em!