The String Cheese Incident 12.8.11
Words & Photos By Nicholas Stock (phatphlogblog.blogspot.com)
After months of anticipation the date had finally arrived. It was time for a Cheesy get down in the Windy City. I flew out the night before and enjoyed some of the amazing food this wonderful place has to offer before loading up in the car with some dear friends and hitting the Lot. We arrived right around 7 PM, which didn’t give us much time to wander around before heading inside. The room was loosely packed as we found a spot Kyle side and I left my friends to get to the pit to snap some pictures. There was an electric energy in the room as people began to fill in the gaps. These were the Cheese faithful many of whom were set for the entire tour-closing run. Billy did the preshow calisthenics jumping up and down before the capacity crowd. The boys from Colorado began the night with a spicy Birdland, here is the rest of the setlist from Friends of Cheese.
String Cheese Incident Live at Aragon Ballroom on December 8, 2011.
SET I: Birdland, Lost, Song In My Head, Lester Had A Coconut, Sirens, Galactic> Just One Story
SET II: Search, Give Me The Love> Lonesome Fiddle Blues, Emma’s Dream> The Might Quinn (Quinn The Eskimo), Impressions> Let’s Go Outside
ENCORE: Valley Of The Jig
As you can tell by the setlist, this was some classic SCI. The audience was jumping around in pure jam-fueled ecstasy as they got underway. They sounded as tight as I’ve heard them since they’ve been back. It’s amazing what a few weeks on the road can do to shake off the dust. String Cheese has been on a steady climb with solid performances at Electric Forest and Bonnaroo this year however this is the first time they’ve done a tour of any sorts since they took a break in 2007. The newish Nershi tune, "Song In My Head," had a Dead twang to it and really got the crowd moving. "Lester" was stellar but the highlight of the first set was the "Galactic" into "Just One Story". The set seemed to fly by even though they were taking their time with the jams.
The Aragon looked good as the colorful fanbase mingled during the setbreak. It had been five years since I had caught a show at this venue. I wandered around talking to friends when I realized that the room looked a lot better than it did during my last visit.
String Cheese came back on stage with a powerful "Sirens" as Moseley drove the bus keeping the group in sync. The "Emma’s Dream" into "Mighty Quinn" was the peak of the whole show confirming for me that the magic is still very much alive with String Cheese. They came back for the encore with a rowdy "Valley of the Jig" that got a little untzy at times but managed to stay true to it’s grass roots. I was hoping for another song to close the show but with two nights left to play, the name of the game was to leave us wanting more. We left the show feeling great and as the snow started to fall in the breezy Chicago night I looked forward to a couple more shows. But first we grabbed a ride over to The House of Blues for some Sexfist...
Nick's Photo Gallery