Reviews > Shows
The String Cheese Incident, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Morrison, CO – 7/23-25
Photos by Larry Hulst
The omnipresent question surrounding String Cheese Incident’s three day homecoming stint at Red Rocks July 23 – 25 was “Will the band continue to perform intermittently or will SCI eventually regroup to tour regularly again?” This question still remains unanswered, but thousands of blissful fans were more than willing to lay aside the issue and soak up the music and festive ambiance that the band has provided for the better part of two decades.
“We’re super-psyched to be here!” said keyboardist Kyle Hollingsworth to the sold-out crowd July 23, before launching into the Talking Heads “This Must Be the Place.” Hollingsworth’s’ wholesale theft of Friday’s otherwise tentative performance redeemed the evening’s karmic malaise. While every member of SCI is a talent in their own right, Hollingsworth seems incapable of a listless performance and his hyperkinetic virtuosity gave purpose to an otherwise uncertain show.
Friday’s set list did contain highlights: guitarist Bill Nershi’s jaunty “Song in My Head, the Hollingsworth-led deep-space funk jam connecting the first verse of “‘Round the Wheel” to “This Must be the Place” and electric mandolin/violin player Michael Kang’s joyous “Shine.”
Saturday night’s show began with two motorized paragliders descending from the sky in graceful circles, one of them appearing to come dangerously close to slamming on the rocks sealing the amphitheatre off from the rest of the world.
“We’ll see if we can pick up where we left off. Last night was kind of crazy,” Kang said, before the band broke into “Restless Wind,” a reference to the prior evening’s high winds which filled the amphitheatre with dust and almost ripped the giant screens bordering each side of the stage from their moorings.
It was obvious that SCI had emptied their collective psyche of the previous evening’s reservations and the band rewarding the grooving crowd with two old-school sets that featured Nershi’s “Johnny Cash,” bassist Keith Mosely’s “How Mountain Girls Can Love,” Kang’s “Rollover” and a nearly 20 minute trip to “Texas.”
It is fitting that SCI’s last performance of the run occurred on a Sunday evening as the band, along with more than a little encouragement from its fans, managed to turn Red Rocks into a house of worship.
The show opened with a few words from longtime band-supporter and friend Jack Mento, who spoke for a few minutes on the “nameless power of love” that links the band with its fans.
“We are a force to be reckoned with!” he said, echoing his words spoken three years earlier before SCI’s “farewell show” in August, 2007.
After Nershi thanked Mento for “helping us on our journey,” the band tore into a percolating “Come as You Are,” propelled by drummer Michael Travis and percussionist Jason Hamm’s bubbling polyrhythms. So empathetic and fluid is Travis and Hamm’s combined drumming that there is no question they have reached their collective Gestalt, a preternatural mind-link allowing them to form one four-armed Id.
The spiritual linchpin of the was evening was uncovered early in the first set during the elegiac “Little Hands” with Kang and Nershi trading verses and singing to each other as much as they were to the audience. Kang squeezed every ounce of emotion from his violin in a long plaintive solo, expressing joy, sadness, nostalgia and uncertainty.
SCI wrapped up a long second set with “Land’s End” sandwiched around the surprise of the evening, Kansas’ “Carry on Wayward Son.” Though rough around the edges, the boys breathed life into the FM mainstay before dropping back into “Land’s End.”
Golden Bloom stopped by Relix to perform a tune from their latest EP No Day Like Today.
The Chapin Sisters share an tune from their new album A Date With the Everly Brothers.
Minneapolis-based Night Moves share a song from their record, Colored Emotions, live at Relix.
Cloud Cult share a song from their latest album live at Relix.
The Giving Tree Band enjoy a spring day on the Relix rooftop, while performing a classic Grateful Dead tune.
Canadian singer-songwriter Hayden performs a duet with his sister-in-law Lou Canon. The song appears on Us Alone his first record on Broken Social Scene’s Arts & Crafts Productions.
The Milk Carton Kids share the first song from their new album, The Ash & Clay.
Here is the new video from Serbian guitar ace Ana Popovic. “Object Of Obsession” appears on her latest album Can You Stand The Heat.
Ron Sexsmith visits the Relix office to perform a tune from his latest record Forever Endeavor.
Crystal Bowersox stops by Relix to perform a song from her new album, All That For This.
- "Friend of The Devil": Elvis Costello, Lyle Lovett, Grace Potter, Keller Williams, Ministry…
- American Idol’s Randy Jackson To Produce Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds
- Covering Relix: The Doors (April 1991)
- Spin Doctors: If the River Was Whiskey
- Ray Manzarek, Founding Member of The Doors, Passes Away at 74
- Golden Bloom "Flying Mountain"
- Tedeschi Trucks Band at the Doheny Blues Festival
- Video Premiere: Anna Bergendahl "Fun"
- Interlocken Festival to Feature Neil Young, Furthur, String Cheese Incident, Black Crowes, Zac Brown and More
- The Salvation of Page McConnell (Relix Revisited)
- Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis Tried to Form Supergroup with Paul McCartney
- Weir’s Here: On TRI, RatDog and Solo Gigs
- Warren Haynes and Joe Bonamassa "If Heartaches Were Nickels"
- The Final Ingredient in Dogfish Head’s Grateful Dead Tribute Ale Is…
- Stone Gossard Readies His Moonlander
- Allie Kral Says Goodbye to Cornmeal
- Doctor’s Orders: So what should we call the Super Ball IX Newspaper?
- John Kadlecik Posts Statement on Bob Weir’s Collapse
- "I Wanne Be In moe.": The Latest Volunteers
- Bob Weir Escorted Off Stage During Furthur Show
- Furthur Cancels BottleRock Show as Bob Weir Is Out Of Commision
- Vote for Your Favorite "I Wanne Be In moe." Contestant
- Doctor’s Orders: What’s Your Favorite Furthur Song? (Win Copy of Relix Signed by Phil and Bobby)
- On The Verge Poll