Say Cheese: String Cheese at The Four Mile Benefit

Words By Nicholas Stock

The Four Mile Canyon Benefit preceding Phish’s three-night run at the 1st Bank Center saw an incredible show from String Cheese Incident in the headlining slot. It was an unprecedented gathering of musicians from Colorado along with all four members of Phish. The entire night was a celebration of the amazing state of Colorado and it was all to benefit all those affected by the Four Mile Canyon fire. With the High Point Fire raging just miles from my front door I thought that I would talk about this night of music in honor of the victims in the Poudre Canyon. This show was a step along the way for String Cheese to make it back to their former glory. It was also an amazing demonstration of what can happen through the power of music.

String Cheese Incident Live at 1st Bank Center on October 9, 2010.

SET: Mouna Bowa, Rocky Mountain Way*> Outside Inside*> Galactic, Round The Wheel, Sometimes A River, Who's That Lady**> Sittin' On Top Of The World***> I Know You Rider****

ENCORE: One Love****

*with Trey Anastasio

**with Todd Park Mohr

***with Drew Emmitt, Vince Herman, Andy Thorn, Bill McKay, Bonnie Paine, and Todd Park Mohr

****with Drew Emmitt, Vince Herman, Andy Thorn, Bill McKay, Bonnie Paine, Jeremy Lawton, Jeff Austin, and Todd Park Mohr

An action packed set with a cavalcade of guests, String Cheese pulled out all the stops for Four Mile. Fresh off their summer run from Red Rocks to Hornings the boys were sounding pretty tight. They opened with a bouncy “Mouna Bowa” before Kang invited Trey on stage for “Rocky Mountain Way” into “Outside Inside.” This rendition of Joe Walsh's classic with Trey blew the Red Rocks version out of the water. Their tune “Galactic” made it into the set. It was a welcomed rendition even if it was a short one, but it shows me they are building more and more and will continue to get older songs into the mix.

"Round the Wheel" was sick with Kang feeling like he had something to prove. “Sometimes A River” gave Moseley a chance to belt one out, before Mohr came out on stage for a choppy version of “Who's That Lady.” Then everyone came out. Some other great Colorado musicians who weren't even on the bill came out including Andy Thorn, Tyler Grant, and Bonnie Paine, who were also accompanied by Bill McKay, Drew Emmitt and Vince Herman. They blasted through “Sittin' On Top Of The World” before inviting Jeff Austin and Jeremy Lawton on stage as well. They finished the set with a bluegrass-y “I Know You Rider” clusterpluck from the overcrowded stage. They busted into a piano-infused reggae-ish breakdown, which featured a back and forth with Lawton and Kyle. Vince started singing about being a headlight Sugar Loaf Train before they went back into the close of “Rider." Everyone came back out and they encored with a very appropriate “One Love.”

It was a great night of music that raised around $300,000 for the Fire Departments and those affected by the blaze. In times like these when the fire is raging away so close to home I’m reminded of this incredible night of music and how Colorado came together to help the victims of such a tragedy.


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