Green Days

Grass between your toes, sun in your eyes and music in your ears: summer has officially begun.

In efforts to raise environmental awareness, the Green Apple Music and Arts Festival coordinated over 200 performances in 60 venues throughout Chicago, New York and San Francisco last weekend. The event culminated on Earth Day, April 22, with free performances in Lincoln Park Zoo, Central Park and Golden Gate Park, respectively.

Between Carlye’s raging crush on drummer Kris Myers and Steve’s love for their overall bad-assery, there was no way that so many concert options could phase us. There was only one choice – to be inside of Umphrey’s McGee’s sold-out show at the Vic Theatre last Saturday night.

With the guys headlining the Zoo’s free show on Sunday, it was a two-day run that was too good to miss. Playing in their hometown for the first time since December of last year, the band was sure to give a show that no fan would want to miss.

So, we went.

Feeling vicarious? Read below to catch a conversational glimpse of our Umphrey’s McGee-kend:

Carlye: Ridiculous. That show Saturday night was literally ridiculous.

Steve: No shit, that setlist was insane. “Jajunk,” “Divisions” and “Nothing Too Fancy” all in the first set – people were freaking out.

Carlye: I don’t know which I enjoyed more – “Pay The Snucka,” or Brendan Bayliss taking a beer bong from the Vic’s top level.

Steve: Talk about bad-assery. It was nuts that Kang from String Cheese Incident came out and jammed on “The Triple Wide.”

Carlye: Yeah, and the keyboardist from the Disco Biscuits, too! I just still can’t believe how fucking good Kris Myers was last night.

Steve: … that’s what she said. And yeah, Aron Manger was definitely good on “Triple Wide” as well, although the fact that he came out wasn’t as shocking as Kang’s appearance.

Carlye: So, was this your favorite Umphrey’s show ever?

Steve: Favorite, no – nothing tops the Chicago Theatre show from last year. But, definitely the best I’ve seen.

Carlye: Huh? Didn’t you see the CT show?

Steve: Yes.

Carlye: Best you’ve seen, though … how is this one the best?

Steve: It’s the best, but not my favorite. There is a difference.

Carlye: That’s so confusing.

Steve: Nah. It’s like, the best movie ever made may be The Godfather, but that doesn’t mean it’s everyone’s favorite.

Carlye: Ooh, gotchya … “Milk” right here. God damn, that’s been stuck in my head all fucking day.

Steve: Yeah, same with me for “Band On The Run,” but once they took the stage on Sunday, I forgot about Saturday’s cover.

Carlye: I know the Zoo set was short and all, but I was really hoping to hear “Bright Lights, Big City” in an outdoor setting.

Steve: I always imagined that song to be playing as I’m driving through Tokyo at night in some tricked-out car. I can’t even imagine it at the Zoo during the day. Regardless, I thought Sunday’s set was great.

Carlye: Steve, it’s Umphrey’s, not a Scion commercial – I think “Bright Lights” would provide an interesting contrast. And the show was really good, but “Alex’s House” is definitely the new “Front Porch,” and I think I’ve heard it too much. They can barely go a week without playing it!

Steve: It’s a fun and simple song. I’m not surprised they play it that often; I’m sure they enjoy it. You can’t really complain, though – they offset the new song with a bad-ass version of “Uncle Wally.”

Carlye: I don’t know … “Miss Tinkle’s Overture” featuring a tiny guitar-wielding child onstage outdid that just based on adorability.

Steve: She was no gigantic beer bong though, and that’s way cooler.

Carlye: Oh, please! A tiny human holding a tiny instrument is so fucking cute. No way a plastic tube trumps that precious little face.

Steve: Even a 50-foot plastic tube with beer flowing down it? Anyway, both shows kicked ass. My only problem with Sunday’s was the venue. The Zoo was great, but I don’t think they anticipated so many people showing up. It was super crowded.

Carlye: Agreed, it was pretty overwhelming, but the live music, weather and beautiful scenery totally jump-started my excitement for summer music festivals.

Steve: Plus, I got a head start on my summer tan.

Carlye: You’re such a fucking girl, Steve!

Steve: At least my skin doesn’t alternate exclusively between white and burnt red …

Carlye: Asshole! I’m a sad indoors kid, I get it. But, come this summer, I’ll be bustin’ out the SPF 50 and rocking a sweet bucket hat, and I can’t wait.

Steve: You’ll be the coolest girl at Summer Camp Festival with a parasol.

Carlye: Wow … I am totally unfit for survival.

Steve: Who knows, maybe you’ll set the record for consecutive bouts of sun poisoning!

Carlye: You suck. I’m going to Green Apple Music Festival by myself next year.

About Steve Plock and Carlye Wisel

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