Umphrey's McGee lets fans hear how it's supposed to be

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While the value of quality sound is sometimes difficult to explain in an era of cheap earbuds and single-speaker iPod docks, when you hear it, you understand.

"We had the goal of this being something that was cool," Cummins says. "It's sometimes hard to explain what it is and why it's cool. It needs to be experienced to be fully comprehended."

Umphrey's hopes to expand the program on coming tours and, Browning says, could even see other bands offering something similar.

"I think it could be a game changer," he says, for a concert industry that is "stuck in its ways."

But it probably won't be for every band.

"I think that there are plenty of acts that don't really have a lot of interest in letting you hear at this level," says Browning. "You've got a lot of acts playing to a lot of backing tracks, or people aren't comfortable with you hearing just how well or not well the singing or the harmonies are going.

"Not everyone would be comfortable with pulling back the curtain and showing you this level of acess. You have to be confident in the quality of your product."

sajohnson@tribune.com

Twitter: @StevenKJohnson

Umphrey's McGee with STS9

When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island, 1300 S. Linn White Dr.

Tickets: $35; 800-745-3000 or livenation.com

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