Umphrey’s Announces Quarters For UM Bowl IV

HT faves Umphrey’s McGee will hold their fourth annual football-themed UM Bowl concert at Chicago’s Park West on April 26th. Today, the band has revealed the concepts for each of the four UM Bowl IV quarters. While the concepts for this year’s quarters are the same as UM Bowl III, the order is different this time around and there’s been an added twist.

The first quarter will be a “Raw Stewage” set in which the band weaves past “Jimmy Stewart” improvisations together based on fan voting. Q2’s theme is “All Request Quarter+” featuring tunes voted on by fans from a ballot that will come out soon. The “+” is because this year’s ballot will include “special teams options” such as special solo, duo and trio performances. For Q3, UM will offer up a “Stew Art Event” by performing a set based on ideas texted in by fans. A “Choose Your Own Adventure” set will bring the night to a close with fans determining the direction the band will take.

Here’s the full rundown of what to expect each quarter from the UM Org…

Q1:

Ah . . . Jimmy Stewart. How much you’ve given all of us through the years. Raw Stewage returns for a second year. UMBowl IV 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. Prepare thyself.

Q2:

The evening rolls along with the ever popular All Request Quarter+. All ticket buyers receive a ballot to vote for the songs you would most like to hear, from rarer UM tunes to alternate versions of “the hits” to classic covers. We’ve opted to add a heavy “Special Teams” element to the ballot this year so you’ll have access to a deeper playbook. Expect more solo, duo, and trio options than you’ve ever experienced, featuring UM staples, curveballs, debuts, and more. As in the past, there will also be a write-in category for you to submit your own requests.

Q3:

Q3 is a Stew Art Event, an S2. This one of kind Umphrey’s innovation returns to the UMBowl once again. 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 Marys as one musical idea is lateraled to another. The Stew Art Event has become a UM staple.

Q4:

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. So don’t blow it and finish with a bang.

Umphrey’s returns to the Belly Up in Aspen tonight and you can watch from home.

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