The String Cheese Incident, Lettuce, Jeff Austin & Friends and More Highlight Electric Forest’s Third Day
Photo via The String Cheese Incident’s Facebook page
A slew of sit ins and unique collaborations took place at Rothbury, MI’s Electric Forest Festival yesterday. It was the third day of the annual electronic music and jamband gathering.
The collaborations started early when Jeff Austin and Friends opened up the festival’s main Ranch Arena stage. In addition to the Yonder Mountain String Band mandolin ace, the group’s lineup included Soulive/Lettuce guitarist Eric Krasno, North Mississippi Allstars drummer Cody Dickinson, Greensky Bluegrass dobro player Anders Beck and Colorado bassist Eric Thorin. Unlike Austin’s usual Friends shows, the afternoon had a decidedly rock-vibe and less of a bluegrass slant. Krasno stuck around the Ranch Arena stage for Lettuce’s performance a bit later. Auxiliary Lettuce member Nigel Hall was on hand and sang about half of the band’s songs. He also led the crowd in a “Happy Birthday” sing-along for Krasno. Big Gigantic saxophonist Dominic Lalli, who has been onsite during the weekend as a special guest, also sat in for a few songs.
At 8:30pm, The String Cheese Incident kicked off the day’s two-set centerpiece. As expected, Cheese started off with a more mellow first set during the day. The set started with a jammed out take on “Outside and Inside,” and they also brought out Lalli for a cover of Weather Report’s “Birdland.” The next set got started with a super trippy “Bumpin Reel” that featured Lalli on saxophone. However, it was during the show’s next song “Desert Dawn” that the Burning Man theatrics so often associated with String Cheese’s big Saturday night shows truly kicked into gear. The stage was filled with tons of large balloons, shooting confetti, stilt walkers, acrobats and other eye candy. Most notably, the show featured some serious pyrotechnics, with fire shooting up over and over at the front of the stage and a big firework display behind it. Finally, the quintet moved into the “Desert Dawn” dubstep jam that they debuted at Electric Forest last year, and the segment sent the crowd into a total frenzy. They also ran through dance-y versions of “Colliding” and “Sirens” that included a rap interlude by percussionist Jason Hann.
The show closed with a cover Bob Marley’s “Kinky Reggae” sandwiched between “Texas.” Though there was no encore, the event hosts did play straight through to the end of their scheduled time.
Australian electronic music group Empire of the Sun took the stage after String Cheese Incident’s set and, despite their different take on electronic music, kept the evening’s theatrical elements in tact. Throughout their late-night Ranch Arena show, their stage was also filled with dancers dressed up in different light-up costumes performing different choreographed routines for each song. The members of the band also sported specialized light-up outfits. Elsewhere on the property, Nigel Hall Band performed a late-night set on the Forest Stage while Griz and then Minnesota kept things going until 5:30am at CID’s VIP area stage.
Here’s a look at The String Cheese Incident’s setlist via Friendsofcheese.com
Saturday, June 29, 2013, Electric Forest Festival, Rothbury, MI
Set I: Outside And Inside > Rain, Far From Home, Birdland*, Sometimes a River, Can’t Wait Another Day, Shine > Colorado Bluebird Sky
Set II: Bumpin Reel*, Desert Dawn, Search > Drums > Search, Colliding, Give Me The Love > Sirens > Texas > Kinky Reggae > Texas
*with Dominic Lalli