Review by umphursmcgur, posted 29 April 2013 11:55 pm CDT
Alright, this was a blast, definitely on my agenda for next year. Hoping for this to be the very of many umbowls.
Quarter 1 might have been my favorite. Really enjoyed the stews, gonna have to give it a listen again, can't remember which was my favorite. Really fun way to start out the show and brought out a lot of good dancing on my part, would keep this in this placement next year. Also, second time getting the cables cut after last new years, really enjoyed the down tempo version, probably more than the other. Was surprised at choices, would have preferred more older stews, felt like a lot were really recent, oh well, still a good time.
Quarter 2 was fun too, loved the Orion opener, but I admit a deep love for metal umphs. Cantina band was straight dance party, really glad this got picked too. Would love to see both of those enter rotation for their covers. No Diablo and Porch were fun if nothing else. I love Bullhead City, but it felt like it would have been much better if naturally placed in an acoustic set, still glad to have seen one, beautiful song if you ask me. I don't know who voted on 2x2 acoustic, but that just seemed awful to me, like a giant condom wrapped around an otherwise great song. Will have to give it another listen, it all looked so awkward with the big light show that usually accompanies the electric piece. Not as good as Quarter 1, but still fun. Next year I might suggest putting up some choices we've had in past Umbowls, I realize IVOY has already been voted in, but who wouldn't want another one after three years? As Quarter 1, great placement, fun to see all the bust outs and debuts right before halftime and right after the raw stewage.
Quarter 3 had some serious jamming go on, but it felt a little underwhelming for most of the time. 70s disco, hillbilly hoedown, jazz metal fusion and sinister evil untz were the highlights for me. Didn't much care at all for gin and juice, beach boogie or tribal drum jam. And the simply ambient music seemed like anything but, too much going on, too much energy on stage for that to take proper form it seemed. Again, relistens will provide some insight. I know this is one of the premier quarters, but I would consider dropping this next year if it's going to have as many stale moments as this year. Obviously if nothing else better can be thought up then don't, but I feel like if they kicked around enough ideas they could think of something better, or at the very least mix it up somehow to make it more fresh.
Quarter 4 was really fun, definitely best as the final quarter in my opinion. Decent song selection, but I have to wander why Miss Gradenko wasn't picked. And Higgins over Lenny OR Eat? Really? Also glad Miss Tinkles was picked over Hangover, still don't understand all the hate that song gets. Really enjoyed how they let every song have a good 5 to 10 minutes to breath and get fleshed out. Were you allowed to vote over and over? For some reason I thought everyone got one vote and everyone kept switching their votes. If not then I feel bad for the people that sat there texting over and over again, because after I voted once I was getting down to all those tastey jams they tacked onto every song. Really like the way this was handled, and the placement at the end seemed the most natural and was the best way to end the show if you ask me. It's either this or the first quarter that was my favorite, gonna have to get my hands on the soundboard to properly compare.
Overall great show, definitely worth the price. I think the quarter placement was spot on, particularly putting the raw stewage first to get the room moving and the choose your own adventure last to get everyone involved at the end, particularly with every song getting decent treatment. I cannot stress enough how awesome it was that they let everyone have time to vote and opened everything up that quarter. Next year put up some better options for the mail in ballots. I realize a lot of the best songs have been picked before or used on the ballots before, but they're going to have to put them up again eventually if they keep doing this year after year, might as well do it for the fifth time since that's generally considered a big number to hit. Would consider either dropping stewart event or modifying it in someway, was the low point of the show for me easily sans a few dancey moments.