Say Cheese: We Fired Kyle!
Words By Nicholas Stock
Kyle was not in attendance because he had a wedding, however String Cheese couldn’t help but play with the fans a bit by throwing in this ridiculous scenario. The fact of the matter is that this is a classic SCI show sans Kyle that harks back to their days before having a keyboardist.
“We’re doing a little retro Cheese here, back to the Blue String Cheese Band days of yore.” – Bill Nershi
The first set was all acoustic with Travis perched up at the front of the stage on a stripped down kit. They got to picking on an amazing “Black Clouds"...
String Cheese Incident Live at Next Stage Theatre on August 21, 1998.
SET I: “We Fired Kyle,” Black Clouds, Chili Dawg, The Hobo Song, Resume Man, Lester Had A Coconut, The Old Home Place, Little Hands> I Know You Rider
SET II: Born ON The Wrong Planet> Land’s End Reprise> How Mountain Girls Can Love, On The Road, The Joker, Blackberry Blossom, San Jose> Drums> Texas
ENCORE: Big Scioda
After a sweet “Chili Dawg,” the band asked the audience who had seen the band before Kyle and hinted that he was not really fired, but just gone for the night. The band broke into a picking frenzy with Old And In The Way’s “The Hobo Song.” Listening to the banter of this show is like opening a time capsule on this storied band. Prior to “Resume Man,” Nershi and Keith tell how the song is based on a kooky guy they met while touring in Southwest Colorado who offered to be a roadie for the band. The “Lester Had A Coconut” showed the type of drumming that made me fall in love with Travis, as he goes from his kit to djembe smoothly and just kills it. SCI goes into a traditional, but quick “Old Home Place” before Billy tells the crowd about the origin of “Little Hands.” On a trip to Moab he encountered cave art of stenciled hands of Native Americans.
“We’ve been in a band together for five years and that’s the first time he’s ever told us that story.” –Michael Kang
This was the beginning of a massive set closing “Little Hands” into “I Know You Rider” that stretched over twenty-five minutes. Showing that even then they knew how to jam and to play incredibly well off each other. Kang shreds his violin leading me to believe that the horse hair from his bow must have been flying.
The second set String Cheese Incident went electric and began with a funky “Born On The Wrong Planet” that went into a darkly psychedelic jam before emerging in a “Land’s End Reprise.” They ripped into quick “How Mountain Girls Can Love” without missing a beat. Sure they are missing Kyle, who is a big part of their sound, but the rest of the band is so tight from their time on the road. This show eludes to why SCI still dominates the scene today. They continue their funkiness with “On The Road” before they went into an acoustic led reggae version of Steve Miller Band’s “The Joker”. The banter throughout the show demonstrates not only their youth, but also just how much fun they were having at this point in their career. A beautiful “Blackberry Blossom” follows before their show closing “San Jose” into “Drums” into “Texas” that stretched close to thirty-five minutes.
“Shit man we should set up in here for a month.” –Bill Nershi
They encored with a solid “Big Sciota,” and called it a night. And what a night it was, listening back to shows like this truly makes me wish I had hopped on the old Cheese Wagon a few years earlier. So much about this show exemplifies the energy and awesome musicianship that fueled the “Incidents” of the early days. So for a good time and a great look back, give this show a download and get your boogie on.