umphrey’s

Umphrey's McGee Announces Full Summer Schedule

On the heels of big plays in Amsterdam and Australia, and still buzzing from the ground-breaking first annual UMBowl in Chicago, pop prog rockers Umphrey's McGee today unveil their complete summer 2010 tour schedule.

The band’s summer plans include stops at festivals throughout the country: Bonnaroo, Summer Camp, Wakarusa, Summerfest, and All Good, among others. Additional tour highlights include a highly anticipated Colorado visit - for a July 3 “Red Rocks & Blue” show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre with Galactic (w/ Cyril Neville) and The Wailers and an intimate play on the 4th of July at the Gothic Theatre, and an opening stint for Widespread Panic on July 13 at LC Outdoor Amphitheater in Columbus, OH. Umphrey’s McGee’s complete summer tour schedule is included below.

The always forward-thinking Umphrey’s McGee recently carved out new terrain in musical interactivity with fans, when they hosted the first annual “UMBowl” - an unprecedented 4-quarter evening-long concert at Lincoln Hall in the group’s hometown of Chicago. For the April 24th event, fans determined the show’s entire set list via real time text messaging and pre-show balloting. Complete with (quite funny) ESPN style videos in between quarters, UMBowl football jersey-styled t-shirts, and “overtime”, the venue roared with the energy of an NFL Playoff game. Each quarter offered a unique approach to fan interaction – such as an acoustic “1st quarter” with songs determined by pre-show balloting, and a wholly improvised 2nd quarter performance driven by real time texting from the fans to the soundboard, where it was reviewed and delivered to the band (and the crowd) by “offensive coordinator/sound caresser” Kevin Browning. A Blogritics.org review hailed UMBowl as “…challenging, fan-centric and courageous.”

Umphrey’s McGee also recently released their song "1348" on the Rock Band Network. This marks the first time Umphrey’s McGee’s music has been part of any video game, and the progressive-rock influenced music proves to be a great fit. For “1348” Umphrey’s McGee worked with former Harmonix Music Systems employee and current Rock Band Network freelancer Andrew Buch. In addition to “1348”, Buch is helping to prepare several Umphrey’s McGee songs for the program that will be made available soon.

Umphrey’s McGee’s complete list of summer tour dates is as follows:

Friday, May 28 - Sunday, May 30 Summercamp Chillicothe IL
Wednesday, June 2 House of Blues New Orleans LA w/ Brock Butler
Thursday, June 3 House of Blues Dallas TX w/ Brock Butler
Friday, June 4 - Saturday, June 5 Wakarusa Festival Ozark AR
Thursday, June 10 - Sunday, June 13 Bonnaroo Manchester TN
Wednesday, June 30 Summerfest Milwaukee WI
Friday, July 2 Nateva Music & Arts Festival - Oxford Fairgrounds Oxford ME
Saturday, July 3 Red Rocks Amphitheatre Morrison CO w/ Galactic and The Wailers
Sunday, July 4 Gothic Theatre Englewood CO
Wednesday, July 7 Centennial Terrace Sylvania OH Co-headlining w/ moe.
Thursday, July 8 Party in the Park Rochester NY w/ Cornmeal
Friday, July 9 All Good Music Festival Masontown WV
Saturday, July 10 Forecastle Festival Louisville KY
Sunday, July 11 Jamboozle Big Flats NY
Tuesday, July 13 LC Outdoor Amphitheater Columbus OH Opening for Widespread Panic
Thursday, July 15 Lafayette Square Buffalo NY w/ Tea Leaf Green
Friday, July 16 Frederick Meijer Gardens Grand Rapids MI
Saturday, July 17 White River Lawn Indianapolis IN w/ Rusted Root
Thursday, July 29 South Shore Music Circus Cohasset MA w/ Rebelution
Friday, July 30 Cape Cod Melody Tent Hyannis MA w/ Rebelution
Saturday, July 31 Gathering of the Vibes Bridgeport CT
Sunday, August 1 Hampton Beach Casino Room Hampton Beach NH w/ Rebelution
Wednesday, August 4 Saranac Brewery Utica NY w/ Rebelution
Thursday, August 5 Theatre at Westbury Westbury NY w/ Rebelution
Friday, August 6 Penn's Peak Jim Thorpe PA
Saturday, August 7 Stone Pony Asbury Park NJ
Wednesday, August 11 The Norva Norfolk VA
Thursday, August 12 House of Blues Myrtle Beach SC w/ Rebelution
Friday, August 13 Raleigh Amphiteater Raleigh NC w/ Rebelution
Saturday, August 14 Masquerade Music Park Atlanta GA w/ Rebelution
Thursday, November 11 - Friday, November 12 Bear Creek Music & Art Fest Live Oak FL

Thursday January 20 - Sunday, 24 2011 Mayan Holidaze Mayan Riviera, Mexico w/ The Disco Biscuits and STS9

UMBowl: Another Innovative Music Experience by Umphrey's McGee

The forward-thinking band Umphrey’s McGee will carve out new terrain in musical interactivity with their fans at the first “UMBowl,” an unprecedented 4-quarter evening-long concert on Saturday, April 24th, at Lincoln Hall in the group’s hometown of Chicago.

Umphrey’s, which has long forged a close bond with its national fan base through technological innovation, will explore fresh frontiers in the five-hour event, styled to emulate a football game with four “quarters” of unique musical performances that will actually be generated by audience input. Half the night’s music will be determined by text messaging on “gameday” itself.

The first quarter (Q1) will be an acoustic set entirely chosen by attendees; ticket holders will receive ballots and cast votes on the songs to be performed. Q2 will be a wholly improvised performance driven by bi-directional texting, sifted and delivered by “offensive coordinator” (and longtime Umphrey’s sound caresser) Kevin Browning to the band, which will then use the audience input to construct their jams. Q3 will be an all-request segment, with songs again determined by pre-balloting from the audience members. Fans will be able to vote not just on song selection but actually how those songs are arranged and varied from their original form. In Q4, the live audience will actually act as the group’s quarterback, “calling audibles” to direct the course of a free-flowing set via text messages sent to Browning in response to choices projected on an in-house screen.

The text-messaging element of UMBowl, powered by Mozes, was first employed by Umphrey’s McGee at their Stew Art (or “S2”) series, launched in fall 2009. Hosted as freestanding events before Umphrey’s shows in select tour markets, the series is a crowd-sourced improvisation experiment, in which all the music performed by the group on stage is entirely directed by S2 audience members. Sold-out crowds of 50 fans submit their ideas by texting descriptive words, phrases, and pop culture references to the Umphrey's mobile interface, which are then interpreted by the band.


Umphrey’s McGee had previously taken new approaches to delivering their music to the fans. Before their most recent studio recording, Mantis, was released in January 2009, the collection was made available for pre-order in an interesting way. The more Mantis pre-orders were received, the more free bonus content was received. Fans “unlocked” levels of content by getting more of their friends to pre-order the album.

The band was also among the first group of performers to offer songs at Rock Band Network. The much buzzed-about video game platform works with Xbox video game systems, and allows bands to offer fans a way to dig into their favorite group’s music in ways they have never been able to before.

UMBowl tickets went on sale last Friday and sold out in just minutes.

For the many out-of-town fans attending UMBowl, the band, together with long-standing travel partners CID Entertainment, offered travel packages for the event. Included in each package are tickets to UMBowl, luxury accommodations at the new Hotel Palomar in downtown Chicago, a drink package for the pre-party at the Umphrey’s hometown hang The Store, a personalized UMBowl jersey, gameday transportation, and more. For further information, go here.

Umphrey's McGee on Rock Band Network

Umphrey's McGee will be among the first group of bands to offer songs at the just-launched (beta testing period) Rock Band Network.

The much buzzed-about video game platform works with Xbox video game systems to allow bands to Xbox users, and to offer fans a way dig into their favorite band’s music in ways they have never been able to before.


Umphrey’s McGee has been working with former Harmonix Music Systems employee – and now “Rock Band” freelancer - Andrew Buch. An alumn of Berklee College of Music, Buch has author several Umphrey’s McGee songs for the new program, including “1348” and “Miss Tinkles Overture." These songs and others will be made available within the next few months - when the first wave of the Rock Band Network releases are scheduled to hit upon the release of the new Xbox 360 system.

Buch, whose video/music “claims-to-fame” include the underground release of his mind-numbingly difficult "Trippolette" in the original Guitar Hero, has worked on several games in the Guitar Hero and Rock Band franchises, making him a likely choice to prepare the music of Umphrey's McGee for the game. Additional work by Buch can be found at http://www.andrewbuch.com, including video footage of both Umphrey's McGee's music and the Rock Band network re-release of "Trippolette."

Umphrey’s McGee’s participation in the Rock Band network is one of many ways this band continues to prove themselves truly a band of the 21st century. The band’s innovative, interactive Stew Art Series (S2) has been hailed as a ground-breaking fan experience. Hosted as individual events before that evening’s already scheduled show, Umphrey’s Stew Art Series is a crowd-sourced improvisation experiment, in which all the music performed by the group on stage are entirely directed by S2 audience members. Check out this S2 video from the inaugural S2 event in Milwaukee: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XYJn64XRGXU.

Look for Umphrey’s McGee on tour now.

Umphrey’s McGee Among First to Embrace New HDMP3 Format

ryanUmphrey's McGee are among the first bands to make their content available in the new HDMP3 format.  The new format allows for the creation and playback of a new type of audio file using lossless compression. MP3HD files are approximately four times the size of corresponding MP3 files, but remain compatible with existing MP3 players.  Umphrey's McGee will make a sizable portion of their recent two-night run at the historic Murat Egyptian Room on March 13, 2009 available in the new format beginning April 1st at http://all4mp3.com/Listen_mp3HD.aspx.  Additional recordings will be made available in the coming weeks.

"As one of the few artists who record and make available every show that is played, sound quality is paramount to the entire band.  The HDMP3 format is a welcome addition to our existing arsenal of lossless and lossy formats we make available for fans, explains Umphrey's McGee's audio engineer & producer Kevin Browning." Offering a much richer sound spectrum combined with the convenience and familiarity of the MP3 format, we expect HDMP3 to be a hit with the band and fans alike."

Umphrey's McGee has recently made headlines with a groundbreaking digital campaign surrounding their latest studio album, Mantis.  Mantis debuted at #62 on the Billboard 200 Chart, and #6 on the Indie Chart, with more than twice the sales the band's previous effort achieved week of release.  In a declining record industry, the band's ingenious and innovative digital strategy has bucked the downward trend.  Prior to this initiative, the standard approach towards offering bonus content was limited to delivery of exclusive materials as a one-shot incentive to the buyer.  Umphrey's McGee, in super-serving their fan base, have built a modern nine-tier solution supported by grassroots and viral word-of-mouth, that marketing executives across the planet will envy.

This innovative initiative relies on fan support to see its goals realized.  A variety of content is made available to those who pre-ordered the album in stages, based on purchased units unlocking the vault at varying thresholds.   With each tier reach, more content goes out to the core crusaders.  Guitarist and vocalist Brendan Bayliss explains, "Our fans have always been there for us, and with each year that has passed, the legion has exponentially grown.  Collectively, we knew that this is a program that they'd love.  Without a community, as we enjoy, this would probably never be executed as a realized vision.  In our case, it worked."  Band manager Vincent Iwinski adds, "That we were able to super-serve our fanbase with content they want, while making them part of the process, resulted in crowd-sourcing a passionate sales team like no other.  With sales more than doubling our previous album in such a tough recorded music market is a testament to the creativity of the band, the support of the fans and the power of the new medium that enables artists like Umphrey's McGee to push the envelope from both music and marketing perspectives."  During the release week, Mantis reached #25 on the iTunes Album chart.

In addition to a one-of-a kind pre-order campaign where fans can participate in "unlocking" exclusive bonus material, Mantis incorporates PUSH(TM) technology by Digital Insert to deliver new content throughout 2009.  PUSH requires no software installation or serial number; by simply putting the Mantis CD in your CD-ROM drive, the disc acts as a "key" to an Umphreys.com micro-site where fans get access to exclusive 2009 content as it becomes available.

Umphrey's McGee has also broken new ground by being among the first bands to offer their fans a video subscription service.  Available exclusively at iClips.com, Umphrey's has made an entire week's worth of concerts available in realtime video streaming to their fans for the low cost of only $5 per show, or the total package for only $20.  Fans have the option of streaming the shows live as they happen, as well as further streaming on demand for two weeks following the concerts.

The Mantis campaign, the band's video subscription, and their use of the HDMP3 format are all innovative music experiences offered by Umphrey's McGee, who have proven adaptive and inventive both in music and business over the last 10 years. Through online community building, creative web-based promotions, and open taping policies allowing live music sharing among fans, Umphrey's McGee has harnessed the internet's momentum to spread their music far and wide. The band's download store UMLive.net is an archive of their ever-diverse live performances, hosting downloads of over 300 shows with 750,000 tracks sold since 2004. Umphreys.com hosts the iTunes friendly UM Podcast which releases two 75-minute episodes of live material each month to its 20,000 subscribers. Since 2001, Umphrey's has released soundboard recordings of each night's concert immediately after the show in both physical and digital formats - and each show typically sells upwards of 300 copies per night. The band's unique approach to online and digital distribution, paired with word of mouth buzz, has helped Umphrey's McGee sell out shows nationwide while keeping their fans a top priority.

jakeThe band has returned to the road for a run through the northeast, midwest and several forthcoming summer festivals.  Confirmed dates are as follows:   

April 02 The Grand Opera House Wilmington, DE
April 03 Penn's Peak Jim Thorpe, PA
April 04 Ram's Head Live! Baltimore, MD
April 05 Toad's Place New Haven, CT
April 07 Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel Providence, RI
April 08 Calvin Theatre Northampton, MA
April 09 House of Blues Boston, MA
April 10 Nokia Theatre Times Square New York, NY
April 11 Nokia Theatre Times Square New York, NY
April 16 Taft Theatre Cincinnati, OH
April 17 Egyptian Theatre Dekalb, IL
April 18 Morris Performing Arts Center South Bend, IN
April 29 Bama Theatre Tuscaloosa, AL
April 30 House of Blues New Orleans, LA
May 01 House of Blues New Orleans, LA
May 02 The Lyric Oxford MS
May 22 Summer Camp Chillicothe, IL
May 29 Mountain Jam Festival ~ Hunter Mountain Hunter, NY
May 30 Newport Music Hall Columbus, OH
June 05 Wanee Festival Live Oak, FL
July 02 High Sierra Music Festival Quincy, CA
July 11 All Good Music Festival ~ Marvin's Mountaintop Masontown, WV
July 18-19 Alpine Valley East Troy, WI supporting The Dave Matthews Band
July 25 10,000 Lakes Festival Detroit Lakes, MN