Author Archives: Caleb O. Brown

Umphrey’s McGee delivers a Walletsworth

The value proposition that musicians can present to their customers has shifted dramatically. Steely Dan tours (regularly!), Phish and Widespread Panic pamper the well-heeled with intimate concert packages at all-inclusive Mexican resorts. Def Leppard, Trace Adkins, Kenny Rogers, Smokey Robinson, Flo Rida, Huey Lewis, Weezer and gaggles of jam bands whisk fans away on performance cruises. And with the advent of streaming services like Spotify and Pandora (RIP Grooveshark) the ability to discover the new and discard the old music costs less than ever.

For the “improg” group Umphrey’s McGee, one value proposition they present to their fans has a name: Couch Tour.

Through the recently concluded Mid-Atlantic leg of their seemingly ongoing tour, I managed to catch three Umphrey’s McGee shows: one at DC’s EchoStage and two streamed live into my palatial estate’s primary living room.

UM keyboardist, Joel Cummins, said adding streaming to their live shows gives the band an easy way to engage fans who can’t attend. “Who wouldn’t want to experience the joy of having a live concert blasting through their home entertainment center?” he said. “By making the visual element of the stream an important component of it, people are able to bring not just the music but the full scope of the entire concert into their homes.”

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