Umphrey’s McGee’s innovative Stew Art Series (aka, “S2”) – an interactive fan experience where audience members “conduct” the band’s live improvisations – continues to garner industry attention for its ground breaking approach to building the ever-important band/fan relationship. Most recent: Time.com just posted a video feature on the band and their S2 series.
Umphrey’s will host their next S2 event this Friday, October 22, at Michigan’s Kalamazoo State Theatre. As with all S2 shows, the event sold out in just minutes.
Hosted as individual events before that evening’s already schedule show, Umphrey’s Stew Art Series is a crowd-sourced improvisation experiment, in which all the music performed by the group on stage will be entirely directed by S2 audience members. Tickets for each event sell out in just minutes.
For S2, fans submit their ideas by texting descriptive words, phrases, and pop culture references (pretty much whatever came to mind), to the Umphrey’s Mozes mobile interface. The suggestions are then filtered by the band’s long time Sound Caresser Kevin Browning and projected on a screen for the band to digest and turn into the next phase of the jam. The band’s music varies stylistically with suggestions ranging from “an afternoon bus ride in Jamaica” to “drinking pina coladas…in a hurricane”. As one elated fan commented after a show, “S2 was the coolest thing I have ever been a part of. It’s always been a dream of mine to meet the band, and the opportunity to participate in leading the Jam for the band was a dream come true as well.”
Umphrey’s McGee will release a collection of new this fall. In a departure from the standard “album” format, Umphrey’s will instead offer up the highly anticipated new material via a series of digital EPs. To get fans warmed-up, Umphrey’s is offering a free MP3 download of the band’s brand new, yet-to-see-the-light-of-day song “Wellwishers.” Folks can download it here, and while there can snatch up the Wellwishers widget to easily share it with their friends.
Visit www.umphreys.com for news of the bite sized music portions from the band’s perspective, and look for full details regarding the releases to be announced in the coming weeks.
Look for Umphrey’s McGee on tour now. Their current list of fall tour dates is as follows:
Thursday, October 21 Mr. Smalls Theatre Millvale PA
Friday, October 22 Kalamazoo State Theatre Kalamazoo MI w/ S2 Event
Saturday, October 23 House of Blues – Cleveland Cleveland OH
Sunday, October 24 Bluebird Nightclub Bloomington IN
Wednesday, October 27 People’s Court Des Moines IA
Thursday, October 28 – Friday, October 29 Canopy Club Urbana IL
Saturday, October 30 – Sunday, October 31 The Pageant St. Louis MO
Wednesday, November 3 – Thursday, November 4 Higher Ground Ballroom South
Friday, November 5 – Saturday, November 6 9:30 Club Washington D.C.
Tuesday, November 9 Jefferson Theater Charlottesville VA
Wednesday, November 10 Legends at Appalachian State University Boone NC
Thursday, November 11 – Friday, November 12 Bear Creek Music & Art Fest Live Oak, FL
Wednesday, December 29, Thursday, December 30, and Friday, December 31 Riviera Theatre Chicago IL
Thursday, January 20 – Monday, January 24 Mayan Holidaze Puerto Morelos MEX