Umphrey’s McGee

Fans who have followed Umphrey’s McGee for any period of time know that there are only two guarantees: you never know what you are going to get, and Umphrey’s always delivers.

Umphrey’s McGee has been relentlessly innovative in both music AND fan relations for 16 years and counting. Whereas the band’s stellar reputation is based on marathon concerts that mix original, technically demanding tunes with complex epics and playful covers (ranging from Toto to Metallica), it has chosen the same kind of attention to melody, songcraft, and musicianship. This is the care that make artists stand apart. Umphrey’s chemistry, however, is something all its own, built upon a relentless live schedule of 100-plus shows a year, a solid base of musical training, and friendships that go back to when they walked in the shadows of the Golden Dome at the University of Notre Dame.

These days, the band plays for crowds from all over the United States and beyond. Incorporating a sophisticated mix of cutting-edge technology — including a state of the art light show — with meticulous attention to sonic detail, the band and crew intends to drop jaws and melt faces at each and every concert. Monthly podcasts, an extremely active presence on Facebook and Twitter, and digital “Easter Egg” hunts have led to a strong following even outside of the US, leading to successful international tours of Europe, Australia, and Japan, where fans screamed out song titles — in English.

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When it comes to experiencing Umphrey’s McGe to the fullest, the live concert experience is unparalleled. Special fan interactive events like the Stew Art series have redefined live music as we know it — with fans texting to choose the direction of the band’s set — while the four-quarter UMBowls (each quarter has a different interactive theme) have quickly become landmark events not to be missed. Another initiative unique to Umphrey’s McGee is the “Headphones & Snowcones” program, where fans are given the unique opportunity to experience UM’s pristine sound up close and personal. Attendees can have the soundboard mix piped wirelessly to their ears via high-end personal monitor systems and headphones. It’s an entirely new way to experience live music and another innovation from a band that is constantly finding new ways to put fans first. As Umphrey’s McGee continues to evolve and the band-to-fan relationship is constantly reinvented, the band stays ahead of the curve as they create events that no other band can offer, unique to an organization that is not afraid of anything except stagnation.

To date, Umphrey’s has sold over 3.3 million tracks online as every live show since 2006 is available via their live music portal UMLive.net. With a catalogue of seven studio albums and counting, and a series of yearly best-of compilations entitled Hall of Fame, Umphrey’s McGee continues to create new music through a writing process that never halts. The last studio release Death By Stereo (2011, ATO Records) was produced by sonic wizards Manny Sanchez (Smashing Pumpkins, Fall Out Boy) and Kevin Browning, whose deep knowledge of analog and digital gear has helped the band craft its sound for years.

The next release slated for Spring 2014 will offer fans an array of original music, some tracks familiar to fans who have heard them in the live arena, while others are unreleased and never heard before. This eighth studio offering from a band that never rests will once again prove that Umphrey’s McGee is here to stay.

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