String Cheese Incident, Disco Biscuits Bring Hulaween to Hampton
String Cheese Incident and the Disco Biscuits made their debut appearances at Hampton, VA’s Hampton Coliseum last night. The first night of the Halloween-themed Hulaween event, the show was String Cheese Incident’s eighth performance since reuniting this past July. The show came to a rousing close with a first time cover of Van Halen’s “Jump” sung by Michael Travis. The String Cheese drummer—who has a history of singing elaborate covers with the band—dressed in a wig and spandex reminiscent of David Lee Roth. In addition to several splits and crotch grabs, Travis took a crowd dive into the audience near the end of the cover.
Like other major String Cheese Incident events, the band’s production wing decked out the venue with some extra eye candy throughout the night. A chandelier made of disco balls hung from the middle of the room and several white spheres were used to enhance the evening’s light show. The group also utilized a wall of video screens and atmospheric projections throughout the night.
The rest of String Cheese Incident’s event focused on tight improvisation and songcraft. The group opened with a nearly 20-minute version of Keller Williams’ “Best Feeling” and stacked its first set with favorites like “Daryl,” “Got What He Wanted,” “Black Clouds” and “Miss Brown’s Teahouse.” The members of String Cheese showcased several of their new songs during the band’s second set, including the Bill Nershi/Scott Law collaboration “Song In My Head” and Kyle Hollingsworth’s solo cut “Way That It Goes.”
String Cheese Incident’s hiatus partially stemmed from the expanding musical rift between bluegrass aficionado Nershi and the electronic loving Travis. As if to showcase the band’s refocused “group think” mentality, second set Nershi emerged during String Cheese Incident’s electronic EOTO interlude to play acoustic guitar over percussionist Jason Hann’s livetronica improvisations. The rest of the band then returned to the stage for the bluegrass romp “Rollin’ In My Sweet Baby’s Arms.”
The Disco Biscuits opened an extended 75-minute support set that focused exclusively on the band’s late ‘90s and early ‘00s catalogue: “Hope,” “Astronaut, “Spacebirdmatingcall,” “Little Shimmy In A Conga Line” and “Basis For A Day.” The quartet also took advantage of its area setting by utilizing its new laser light show. Near the end of its performance, bassist Marc Brownstein noted the significance of the room, which has hosted performances by jamband stalwarts like the Grateful Dead, Phish, Jerry Garcia Band, Dave Matthews Band and Furthur over the years.
Full setlists for both bands are available here.