Spring time in Augusta, Georgia means many things to us; the Sun comes back to visit, Spring Break, Master’s Week, and an endless sea of pollen blanketing the entire area. This also means it is time for The Major Rager (MR) on April 7th which will feature two sets from Umphrey’s McGee, The Revivalists, and Earphunk. The 3rd Annual MR will take place at the lovely Augusta Common (Broad Street) with gates opening at 5 pm. But wait there’s more… just a few blocks down the same street there will be an official after party that boasts TAUKing McGee (a combination of both Umphrey’s McGee and the four piece funk band TAUK). This is shaping up to be one of the biggest jams sessions taking place right in my back yard.
Umphrey’s McGee (UM), as stated previously, will perform two sets at the MR that includes “All Night Wrong” (a special set of cover songs). This has me very interested as I have heard them cover Dr. Dre & Snoop Dogg (“Nuthin’ But A ‘G’ Thang”), Metallica (“…And Justice For All”), Nine Inch Nails (“Wish”), Pink Floyd (“Breathe” reggae version), Michael Jackson (“Billie Jean”), Tool (“Forty Six & 2”), Guns ‘n’ Roses (“Patience”), and The Beatles (“I Want You (She’s So Heavy)”) in the past. This is only half of the known covers that UM have been known to crush live in concert. Who knows what cover songs they will play during “All Night Wrong” but all I know is that I will be there to find out. And you should too!
Jennifer Hartswick (trumpet) and Natalie Cressman (trombone), both of the Trey Anatasio Band, plus various members of James Brown’s band are scheduled to perform as special guests with UM. Don’t forget that you still have two opening acts both which hail from New Orleans; The Revivalists and Earphunk. This will be my first time seeing both bands after hearing so much about both them for a while now. Personally, I am really excited to see The Revivalists but not to overshadow Earphunk’s performance this night. Speaking of Earphunk…
They have come a long way from playing small club stages to time slots at major festivals across North America such as: Electric Forest Festival, Bear Creek Music and Arts Festival, and Wakarusa Music Festival. This quintet is ready to come and melt minds with their personal brand of prog-funk mixed with musical improvisation and an energetic stage performance. The Revivalists are as funky and full of flair as their hometown of New Orleans. David Fricke of Rolling Stone magazine describes their sound as “a Crescent City-rhythm spin on jam-band jubilee” with some “barely-R-rated burlesque troupe” mixed in for good luck. Have I gotten your full attention yet?
Now this is only the beginning because after all of this greatness… we still get the Official Major Rager After Party with a special treat featuring both UM and TAUK performing under the name TAUKing McGee. This will take place only a few blocks down Broad Street at one of my favorite local clubs, Sky City. Can you imagine what this is going to be like watching live? Just the mere thought of this jam session has my curiosity peaked. This is definitely something you do not want to miss; either the MR or the official after party at Sky City.
I want to specially send out some ‘major thanks’ to some local promoters, Friends With Benefits (FWB), for bringing us the MR annually and also to Coco (Sky City) for helping coordinate with the after party. Without FWB or Coco, we would be lost without their skill in getting great acts locally before they ‘make it big’ or even in the height of their greatness. Keep up the great work for the Augusta and Evans area. As FWB’s website states, “we utilize music as an agent to help boost awareness, build valuable relationships, and raise money for non-profits”. Yes you read that correctly, FWB’s mission includes raising money for charitable organizations with music. Music is the way to heal. Music can create a cure. These guys just figured out how they can use music to help create a community. Bravo!
Tickets for the MR are priced at $35.00 for general admission and $100.00 for a V.I.P. ticket and are available online for purchase today. Tickets for the Official Major Rager After Party featuring TAUKing McGee are priced at $20 and are also available online. Do not miss out on this once in a lifetime opportunity to see all these great bands. Or you might be at home kicking yourself for missing out while looking at everyone’s pictures on Facebook.
Stay tuned for Concerthopper’s busy festival season as we will cover Shaky Knees, Shaky Beats, Bonnaroo, Wayhome Music & Arts Festival, and the Sloss Music & Arts Festival in the coming months. Get up to date on everything Concerthopper related by following our Instagram and Twitter pages and liking us on Facebook today. You can also follow my personal concert hopping on Instagram (@hxerxest). As always, thank you all for your continued support! See you all at The Major Rager.
 David Fricke. “Preservation Party: On the Ground at New Orleans Jazz Fest”. Rolling Stone. April 29, 2010. (Retrieved 03/21/2016).