Umphrey’s McGee is an innovative band. Striving to provide new experiences for fans with things like sUMmer school, the headphones and snowcones experience, and their subscription model website allowing unlimited access to content for a reasonable monthly fee, the band elevates itself above the pack before you even get to the face melting music. Nothing substantiates this innovation more than the annual UMbowl. Starting in 2010 this 4 set experience unites the audience and band into one unit, with all quarters featuring fan interaction that constantly changes. Not surprisingly, these shows sell out immediately and this years fifth rendition is no exception. Taking place at the esteemed Capital Theater May 3rd in Portchester NY, this years themes should have fans mouths watering in anticipation. Here is the breakdown straight from Umphreys.com:
Ah . . . Jimmy Stewart. You never let us down. How much you’ve given all of us through the years. Raw Stewage returns for a three-peat. UMBowl V kicks off with an entire set of your favorite pieces of improv stitched together to create a long-form piece of new music. Ticket buyers will vote on their favorite live moments, and the band will take those Legos and assemble them into one tidy package for Q1. The Raw Stewage quarter has evolved into a song incubator as it continues to spawn new UM originals year after year.
The evening rolls along with the ever popular All Request Quarter. All ticket buyers receive a ballot to vote for the songs you ‘d most like to hear, from rarer UM tunes to alternate versions of “the hits” to classic covers, including multiple new, unreleased options . As in the past, there will also be a write-in category for you to submit your own requests.
Q3 is a Stew Art Event, an S2. This one of kind Umphrey’s innovation returns to the UMBowl for its 5th year. The band will play a full set of improvisation based exclusively on themes, ideas, scenes, and concepts presented by fans. Entries will be submitted via text message by those in attendance and the best of the best will be added to the playbook. The selected themes will appear before both the band and audience in real-time so split second decisions will be paramount. Expect handoffs and Hail Mary’s as one musical idea is lateral to another. The Stew Art Event has become a UM staple.
Rounding out the festivities will be the Choose Your Own Adventure experience. Those in attendance will be calling the plays, quarterbacking the music to unfold at your will. A series of choices will be presented to the audience on large projection screens and you will decide the set list in real-time. Voting will occur via text message and the results will be tallied as they roll in. You’ll be able to choose from a wide variety of UM originals, improvisational styles, and cover songs. You pick the plays and determine the strategy to make it a killer set. This one is in your hands. Don’t blow it.