The String Cheese Incident 7.26 & 7.27.13
Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Words By J-man
Photos By J-man & Kevin Hahn (Split Open & Shoot Photography)
Audio By Peter Coffan
The peak of summer for many is marked by The String Cheese Incident's multiple night run at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. This year, Red Rocks would only play host to two nights of SCI as opposed to the usual three. Unlike many other touring acts, SCI struggled to sell out the nine thousand plus venue in their home state, with only Saturday night selling out in the end. With criticism reaching a boiling point for SCI in regards to their performances, song selections and their utilization of dupstep, the band were under the microscope from their increasingly critical fan base. On top of the open criticism that the band has been receiving, Horning's Hideout tickets have been popping up on Facebook and Craigslist from one hundred dollars, to best offer/free, with speculation surrounding the reality of Horning's being "Sold out" as the band had previously claimed. Folks flocked to the Rocks for two nights with high hopes of seeing one of their favorite bands on top of their game.
Friday July 26th, 2013:
String Cheese Incident Live at Red Rocks Amphitheater on July 26, 2013.
Set One: Shine > Mouna Bowa, Close Your Eyes, Up The Canyon > Freedom Jazz Dance, Sing A New Song > Don't Say > Restless Wind
Set Two: Let's Go Outside > Tinder Box > Big Shoes > 100 Year Flood > Far From Home > Just One Story
Encore: Shakin' The Tree > Rosie > Around the World > Rosie
Billy thanked the crowd once more before the band stepped off stage, only to return a few minutes later with Peter Gabriel's "Shankin' The Tree." The slow African rhythms created a dreamlike vibe, before slowly building with Kyle's wailing keys and Kang's extensive note holds before going into Kyle's "Rosie!" The signature lick and drumbeat turned Red Rocks into an all out dance party. What came next is something that will have Cheese fans talking for some time. The band transitioned into Daft Punk's "Around The World" with Kang on vocoder. The place erupted with excitement and cheer as dancing ensued and the band transitioned back into "Rosie" to close a fantastic two sets of music! If Saturday wasn't already sold out at that point, it would have immediately following all of the online chatter from Friday's stellar show. As fans poured out into the lots taxis, towing vehicles and wide eyed folks sat idle as the mass exodus began, only to return hours later for round two!
Saturday July 27th, 2013:
For many, Saturday's party got a much later start than Friday's. Far less critics turned out as it seems many had been converted back to fans overnight. The initial push from the lots towards the venue welcomed the first crashes of lightning and thunder in the distance. Inside the venue an announcement came over the house speakers that lightning had struck within' two miles and it may be in our best interest to return to our cars or seek shelter. The final plea was that we could remain on the rocks at our own risk. With that the sky fell, first just a little, but quickly becoming something worth seeking shelter from. Down inside the hollowed out portion under the rocks that houses the restrooms, the museum and the grille, many folks sought shelter, hanging up their clothes to dry anywhere they could. It wasn't long before the corridor wreaked like a wet dog. The venue shook with the rumbling of thunder and the thought of those trapped outside in the raging storm was discouraging at best.
String Cheese Incident Live at Red Rocks Amphitheater on July 27, 2013.
Set One: Song In My Head > Come As You Are, Can't Wait Another Day, Don't It Make You Wanna Dance > Dudley's Kitchen, Look At Where We Are, Eye Know Why, Could You Be Loved, Rollover
Set Two: Drums > Rivertrance > It Is What It Is, Johnny Cash > Don't Bring Me Down > Johnny Cash, Colliding, Search, Sirens > BollyMunster, Colorado Bluebird Sky
Encore: After Midnight(1) > Outside And Inside(1)
Second Encore: Way Back Home
Notes: (1) with Anders Osborne
The second set began with a feat that had never been accomplished at Red Rocks. Micheal Travis And Jason Hann began the set on top of the towers on each side of the stage for what is being dubbed "Tower Drums." The jam itself wasn't all that special, but the concept was pretty cool and folks in the crowd dug it. "Drums" became the intro to Kang's "Rivertrance," as he subtly teased the fiddle alongside Kyle's spacey synth. Kang's beautiful fiddle overtook Red Rocks and the minds of those in attendance as Billy grabbed the reigns. The song's jam has really developed into an assault of sonic output. "Rivertrance" turned into "It Is What It Is" with a sort of sloppy transition. As the song unfolded, Kang delivered, nailing each note with precision as he tore through modular progressions with incredible direction and tone. The band halted with a roar from the crowd, only to resume and dig back into the song. "What's up Red Rocks? That was crazy! Thanks for hanging out in the rain with us. It's that kind of extreme stuff that really kind of makes it all worth it," Kang said laughing.
J-man's Friday Photo Gallery
Kevin's Saturday Photo Gallery