The String Cheese Incident 12.31.12
Words By J-man
Photos By Kevin Hahn
Audio By Peter Coffan
"Alright, how are you guys going to spend the last moments of 2012? This is your last chance to do everything that you wanted to do before the year ends," Michael Kang said to a huge response from the sold out crowd.
String Cheese Incident Live at 1st Bank Center on December 31, 2012.
Set One: Mouna Bowa, Shine, Can't Stop Now, Song In My Head, Struggling Angel, Collliding, Restless Wind
Set Two: Miss Brown's Teahouse > How Mountain Girls Can Love, Piece of Mine, Best Feeling > Search, Sledgehammer > Rosie
Set Three: Let's Go Outside, Land's End, Colorado Bluebird Sky > Bumpin' Reel, Desert Dawn > Sweet Emotion > Desert Dawn
Encore: Bolly Munster > Colorado Bluebird Sky
One last break came and went as folks got into position for the balloon drop. Characters on stilts, dawning furs, began to assemble in the halls of the venue. The third set began with yet another Kyle tune, "Let's Go Outside." Though I don't mind the tune, I scratched my head and hoped that this would not be the tune that carried us into 2013. With the first few notes of "Land's End," we knew it was on! The light, meandering notes tickled our ears and teased our minds. The jam slowly began to grow and expand as large balloons began to bounce around the crowd. Then, from each side of the arena bowl came fairy-like characters flying and moving to the music. All of a sudden the LED bracelets came to life in one of the coolest interactive moment that I have ever experienced at a concert. Ropes dropped from the ceiling and acrobatics ensued. To say it was a spectacle would be an absolute understatement. It was sensory brilliance. The bracelets flashed in unison, the countdown began and the balloons and confetti fell! The moment was absolutely blissful. I stood with my jaw hanging open, kissed my girlfriend and came to the realization that there was no place else that I'd rather have been. Surrounded by friends, familiar faces and all of the positive energy was perfect.
"Colorado Bluebird Sky" was the perfect beginning to 2013. Folks danced without a care in the world as their favorite band played an old-school favorite. The song was executed flawlessly, though left unfinished as the band transitioned into "Bumpin' Reel," taking the crowd to space. Kang's fiddle touched on some fantastic middle eastern sounding notation. "Dessert Dawn" entered the picture to the delight of the semi-coherent crowd. Following Kang's vocal section, the jam took off to high peaks before coming back down and slowly transitioning into an unexpected "Sweet Emotion." They did the song justice, while at the same time making it extremely cheesy. The jam ripped then went back into "Dessert Dawn" to close the incredible third set. My brain was left scrambled as I stared at the illuminated stage.
The band returned to the stage, thanked the fans, crew and staff with an intoxicated Group Hoot, before Kang's signature lick from "Bolly Munster" over took 1stBank Center. I was thrilled as "Bolly Munster" has quickly become one of my favorite newer String Cheese tunes. The sonic range and middle eastern tones make for an interesting semi-electro composition and along side Kyle clav sounds, "Bolly Munster" was a powerhouse. About nine minutes later the song transitioned back into the earlier unfinished "Colorado Bluebird Sky" for another ten minutes to close the show! What a beautiful way to ring in the new year! As the house lights came up, the 1stBank was used and abused, with the remainders of party favors coating the floor. Wide-eyed folks came to the realization that the party had concluded and that it as time to locate their rides. Satisfied fans said their good-byes to folks who had shared in the evening's magic with them. All that was left were the memories of a three night party or epic proportions...
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