Concert Stories: Umphrey’s McGee

It was our sophomore year of high school when my best friend, soon-to-be girlfriend, and a third friend endeavored to an Umphrey’s McGee concert. There, in the prime of our adolescence, we childishly came to the conclusion that we wanted to “try smoking pot.”

Those familiar with Umphrey’s McGee and the culture surrounding jam bands will know that this is a pretty intense setting in regards to substances. In my naivety and in attempt to impress a girl I was with, I asked the man in front of us if he had any “misdemeanors.” While “misdemeanors” was both a euphemism for weed and an attempt at humor on my part, the man initially replied to my kiddish question with a look of confusion. He then proceeded to laugh and tell us that pot was actually a felony, but if we found any to send it his way. This man also looked like he was about 45 and advised to only take one hit, because what went around in this crowd was “strong.” The guy I had asked for pot from quickly turned into a father figure. Friendly, but patronizing.

The concert began, and the Gatorade bottles spiked with vodka that we had awkwardly snuck in were empty. It was at this point we were passed a joint, and our meek aspirations were met. With obvious inexperience, I daintily put the joint in my mouth, and before I even inhaled much of anything, passed it onto my friends. We thanked the good people who shared their weed with us, which was then proceeded by them telling us that the joint was laced with PCP. I had a brief panic attack before I realized that they were only joking.

While I wasn’t very successful at actually getting high, I’ll always cherish this story as a milestone and experience shared with some of the people I’m closest to.

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