Revisiting UMBowl II

Rob Slater on April 28, 2015

Yesterday, we revisited the first UMBowl at Chicago’s Lincoln Hall in 2010. Now, we flashback to 2011 as the band looked to build on the rousing success of the first event. Following up something like UMBowl I wasn’t going to be easy, but this one got a boost right off the bat when it was announced it’d be moving to Park West in Chicago, almost double the size of Lincoln Hall.

Now that fans had even the most basic idea as to what the quarter themes would be, it was also once again time to flip everything on its head. This year, the show would see mainstays Choose Your Own Adventure, Stew Art and All Request all return with different choices and options thrown in.

The crown jewel of UMBowl II would be the third quarter as the band introduced the Special Teams Quarter. The idea was that the set would be comprised of various lineups, which ultimately led to a pair of solo performances from Joel Cummins and Brendan Bayliss, duets from Brendan and Jake as well as Ryan Stasik and Cinninger. There were various instrument switches and one-night-only configurations that set this entire UMBowl aside from the others. The big surprise came late in the set when original drummer Mike Mirro appeared for an old school rendition of “Much Obliged.” Sadly, this would be the last time Mirro appeared on stage with the band before his untimely death in 2014.

Let’s take a look at some highlights from UMBowl II.

UMBowl II Intro

“En La Cocina”

“Como Joel!”

“Daft Punk Jam”

The other choices were James Brown-esque funk, Tool-esque prog metal or Daft Punk-esque electronica. This may have been the closest vote in UMBowl history.

“Soaring Uplifting Jam”

Maybe the greatest performance at any UMBowl, ever. When you think UMBowl, you think “Soaring Uplifting Jam.” Books will be written about this performance and the kind soul who texted in such a theme.

“Bus Call”

Only played once at an Umphrey’s show (hint: this one), this new Bayliss composition is long overdue to show up on a studio recording.

“Going to California”

Brendan and Jake’s contribution to the Special Teams Quarter came wrapped in this lovely Zeppelin cover. The tune, along with several other Zep songs, has made appearances both at Brendan and Jake Holiday Shows as well as UMBowl’s past.


One of the four debuts in the Special Teams Quarter came in the form of this instrumental from Jake and Ryan, entitled “#19.” It hasn’t been heard from since, but was a nice addition to the set along with instrumental takes on “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” and others.

“Big Bottom”

Everyone on bass. Joel on keytar. It doesn’t get much better than this.

“Another Brick in the Wall/Thriller”