Mike Mirro left Umphrey’s McGee in December 2002 to enter med school. On Thursday night, he returned to the stage with the group during their New Year’s Eve gig at Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom. Mirro appeared late in the first set for a version of “Headphones & Snowcones,” a song he co-wrote which appears on Local Band Does O.K. and the band previously had only performed once in the living setting (10/4/02).UM guitarist Jake Cinninger moved to percussion for that tune, on which Mirro added marimba.
The three set New Year’s Eve gig offered numerous new covers from the band including a nod to Jeff Coffin (who had joined the band the preceding night) with a take on his “Move Your Rug.” Other debuts included versions of Bruce Springsteen’s “Tenth Avenue Freeze-out,” Steely Dan’s “Reelin’ In The Years,” Frankie Valli’s Can’t Keep My Eyes Off Of You. Umphrey’s also offered its own interpretation of “Turn & Dub,” which is the Michael G Easy Star All-Stars Remix of the group’s own “Turn and Run.”
Mike “Mad Dog” Marvridoglou, the former Ray’s Music Exchange trumpet player who co-wrote “Headphones & Snocones,” assembled a brass section for the occasion. Mad Dog’s Filthy Little Secret Horns appeared on “Red Tape,” “Ringo,” “The Goose & The Fly,” “Move Your Rug,” “Much Obliged,” “Auld Lang Syne,” “Turn & Dub,” “Tenth Ave Freeze-out” and “Reelin’ In The Years”