Over the past year, jam bands have been resilient, finding new and creative ways to reach fans craving the music they love. Now, live music is roaring back and the fans are excitedly returning to their favorite venues for summer concerts. We’re continuing our ‘No Bummer Summer’ series this week with five of our favorite summer concerts that will have you ready to return to the lot and catch your favorite jam bands.
A homecoming show makes for a great performance from any band, but it’s not often you get to see a band play a hometown site as scenic as Umphrey’s McGee’s 2019 performance at Chicago’s Lakefront Green. It was a special show, played right next to Lake Michigan during the height of a beautiful Chicago summer. The band took time throughout the show to interact with fans and share memories of living in Chicago’s Lincoln Park. The show kicks off with the band’s debut performance of “Punchable Face”. The ode’s to Chicago are present throughout the show through its end with a Chicago themed performance of “Gulf Stream ” to close out the encore.
Speaking of Chicago, nothing says summer quite like an outing to the windy city’s Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. This performance from Dead & Company is among their best. It’s loose, fun, and played to a packed crowd in one of the most beautiful outdoor venues in America. It gets off to a great start early with Bob Weir leading the band through a version of “Sugar Magnolia ” with a mesmerizing guitar solo from John Mayer. The first set continues with hits including “High Time” (first performed by Dead & Company earlier in the summer), “Friend of the Devil,” and “Mama Tried.” The second set features some incredible jams during “Sugar Magnolia” and a remarkable performance of “Franklin’s Tower” led by John Mayer. The hot summer night show ends with fantastic encore versions of “Ripple” and “One More Saturday Night.”
Goose’s 2019 performance is fast approaching mythical status. A perfect festival concert that propelled the Connecticut jammers to jam-band stardom. There’s a reason the world has Goose fever, and it’s all present in this tight 8-song set. Goose staples like “Madhauvan,” “Time To Flee,” and “Arcadia,” are joined by Grateful Dead’s “Mississippi Half Step” and Bruce Hornsby’s “The Way It Is.” Pay attention during “Wysteria Lane” for some Magic School Bus teases too. The show is closed out with style during the fan-favorite anthem “Hot Tea.” It’s a 90-minute primer to all things Goose and it’s the perfect soundtrack as we get ready for Peach Festival 2021 in just a few short weeks.
This 2018 performance is Widespread Panic at their most Widespread Panic, in the best way possible. Playing at Trondossa, their home music festival in South Carolina, the boys put together the ultimate performance for new fans and old heads alike. From the opening “Porch Song” to the closing “Conrad The Caterpillar,” this one is heaters start to finish. As the first set comes to a close, the band is joined by none other than Sturgill Simpson on guitar for J.J. Cale’s “Ride Me High” and The Beatles’ “Come Together.” Give this show a listen and get back in that Panic spirit because the band is back together in two weeks for the first time since March 2020!
Bisco Inferno’s 2021 return was a thrilling experience. The Disco Biscuits’ famous yearly performances at Red Rocks were extra special this year and the band came ready to play to the mystified audience. The weekend’s finale performance was filled with rare tracks that are sure to blow the minds of Biscuits fans. The show includes only the band’s 11th ever cover of Guns N’ Roses “November Rain,” which features a tease of Genesis’ “That’s All.” Adding to the list of rare covers, The Disco Biscuits covered Grateful Dead’s “I Know You Rider” for the first time in over five years to close out the final set. This show was a clear indication, it’s going to be a No Bummer Summer indeed.