Got some more excellent concert fan storytelling for ya via our friend Ben Slayter. This installment also continues our Umphrey’s Mcghee exploration.
Ben originally shared this photo essay on Bands That Jam as he tells the story of what happened during a recent trip to see Umphrey’s McGee in Louisville and it gives me great pleasure to spread the love here on Live Fix.
I love sharing these types of fan stories because they so beautifully capture the essense of concert fan culture in all its glory.
Ben’s photo essay also inspires me because it celebrates the part of the concert experience that we all remember long after the show: the relationships we start and deepen with our fellow fans.
And the way Ben’s captured here is so right on because it shows a group of fans living in the moment and taking the live concert experience to a new level and doing it in full creative fashion and with inspiring personal expression, just like this and this.
Here’s the snippet of that story to get you started…
Sometimes, when your friends call and say “want to go to Umphrey’s in Louisville?” you just have to say yes. I usually get three or four UM shows a year, but this has been a busy one, and I hadn’t been to church since 11/25/2011 (With Beats Antique opener – YUM.)
I’d missed Detroit (had a paid gig) and Summercamp this year, then was tied up with Electric Forest and missed the Michigan show. I couldn’t wait, and the six-hour drive south was filled with familiar sounds of past shows, interspersed with the tidings of JamOn.
As we’re heading into the city, I get a text from an old friend, “Are you in Louisville?” to which I responded “2 HRS.” “YES!!!!” was the reply. How she knew? Guessed. That’s the universe, playing with ya. “Want to meet up at my friends at for some pre-party?”
So as they say when you’re on tour, the only people you meet are friends you didn’t know you had yet, and this group was UMazing in many ways. As we drove through the beautiful hills and homes of downtown Louisville, we pulled up to a house with peeps already sipping brews as the sun set, casting beautiful rays of gold across smiling faces. We all got nice for a bit, and jumped in with our designated drivers (Thanks Sarah!) and headed out to the Iroquois Amphitheater across town.
The city of Louisville went all out on the park surrounding the amphitheater; no parking fees, plenty of awesome people around, and it was just getting dark. We played by the car for a bit, and started walking in, and the first thing I see is a girl in a mustache–a crocheted mustache. “Where does one find such fine mustaches?” I asked, jokingly. “I crochet them and sell them. What color would you like?” she asked, pulling out a bag of multi-colored hand-made wares. “How much?” I asked, hoping it was a couple of bucks. “$15,” she responded, although possibly a bit unsure. “Hmmm. Could you tell me a bit about the environment in which they’re made? $15 is a lot for a mustache, and I think if I knew a bit more about it, I’d feel good about the purchase.” She smiled, “I sit on my couch listening to Umphrey’s McGee with my cat, and we sing while we knit.” One mustache: Sold.
Now, go check out the rest on bandsthatjam.com and enjoy all of Ben’s great fan and band shots!
Thanks for sharing Ben.
If you have a Umphrey’s McGee story to share, post it below and we’ll feature it on a future episode of Live Fix Radio.