umbowl

Umphrey's McGee Hosts UMBowl II

UMPHREY’S MCGEE brings the ultimate fan experience back to Chicago with UMBowl II on April 2, 2011 at Park West. The uniquely interactive state-of-the-art intimate concert event will keep both band and fan on their toes with the audience calling all of the plays during four, 45 minute musical quarters (see full breakdown below), each with a different interactive theme. Quarter One invites the audience to choose the opening song / set list, Quarter Two will be a “Stew Art” (S2) full improvisational set, Quarter Three’s “Special Teams” is new to UMBowl this year with special band line-up changes and anything goes configurations, Quarter Four closes the show with an all request fantasy team of musical concoctions that have never been heard before.

“With UMBowl, Umphrey's McGee have furthered their forward-thinking reputation, leveraging their traditional touring, merchandise and recorded music businesses with tech-driven marketing innovation." said Syd Schwartz, CEO of Linchpin Digital who advises the group on digital marketing strategy. “UMBowl brings artist and audience closer together, creating a 'full contact' interactive music experience, continuing Umphrey's stellar track record as a DIY success story."

Tickets went on sale last week and sold out within minutes. VIP Packages are still available through CID Entertainment. Sponsors for UMBowl II include Vienna Beef, D'Agostinos Pizzeria, and Source Audio.

UMBowl II quarterly breakdown as follows…


Quarter One - The fan is the quarterback

Those in attendance will be calling the plays starting with the opening notes of this year's event. A series of choices will be presented to the audience on large projection screens throughout the venue. The fans then decide what song the band will open with. Voting will occur via text message courtesy of Mozes, and the results will be tallied in real time in front of the audience and the band. The audience will then have the chance to call an audible and dictate what's next by choosing from a wide variety of UM originals, improvisational styles and cover songs. The audience picks the plays and determines the strategy to make a killer set.


Quarter Two - Stew Art* improvisational set

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 and the best will be added to the playbook. Expect handoffs and hail marys as one musical idea is lateraled to another. The selected themes will appear before both the band and audience in real time so split second decisions will be paramount.
* Stew Art set is named after the Jimmy Stewart Ballroom in Chicago where the band recorded their first successful improv session.

Quarter Three – Special Teams

UM are thrilled to introduce the Special Teams quarter, a brand new concept for the UMBowl. Constantly evolving line-ups will keep everyone guessing as the quarter unfolds with various teams taking the field. Everything is possible – solos, duos, trios, and quartets as the band adapts to the conditions inside the stadium. You won't know who might pop up behind the drum kit or on the keyboards. Any configuration of the band may take the stage, although not likely the one you're used to.

Quarter Four – All Request

UM is looking to go out with a bang and want the audience’s help. Last year's All Request quarter was the overwhelming fan favorite and it’s back by popular demand. All ticket buyers will receive a ballot to vote for the songs they’d most like to hear. Expect everything from older, more rare choices to bizarre, alternate versions of "the hits" to curveball covers. There will also be a write in category for fans to submit their own requests. Challenge the band to rethink old favorites. Everything is fair game.

FOR VIP TICKETS AND PACKAGES:

Visit www.cidentertainment.comThe "QB Sneak" and "Hail Mary" packages include tickets to UMBowl, Pre-Party at The Store, collectible Merchandise, Early Entrance into the Park West, a Group Photo with Team Umphrey's and more. Packages with Travel include accommodations at the Hotel Palomar and Gameday Transportation.

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.