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Published: 2012/07/20
by Charlie Englar

The String Cheese Incident, Red Rocks, Morrison, CO – 7/5-7

The American Indian tradition of Rain Dance is one that has been passed down from generation to generation, and is still practiced by some today. Even those who are not of American Indian descent, in their own ways and forms, hope and pray for rain in years of drought and wildfires.

It has been such a year in Colorado and throughout the entire American Southwest, but on a weekend when Colorado’s favorite musical and spiritual sons graced the stage of Red Rocks Amphitheater, the heavens opened up and provided moisture the likes of which were needed in the most desperate of ways.

The String Cheese Incident last played Morrison, CO in 2010, not long after they had been on a somewhat extended hiatus. The vibe that year was one of overall joy at the simple fact that Cheese was back. In this the year of 2012, a time period in which Cheese did their first extended tour not too long ago and has been playing more regularly, the vibe was one of ‘how hard are they going to throw down?’ and, ‘I can’t wait to hear how locked in their playing is and how smooth the transitions are.’

Thursday, July 5

Leaving Fort Collins early Thursday evening for Red Rocks I was hit with the first of what would be many monsoonal downpours. Before I was even able to get to Interstate 25 I hit a log jam of vehicles on the on-ramp who were at a complete standstill due to the fact that the cars on the Interstate were at a complete standstill due to the fact that you couldn’t see two feet in front of your car… Needless to say the rain let up, I picked up a friend in Loveland and hauled ass the 65 or so miles to Morrison, making it into the venue – after a ridiculously cluster-mess of a line coming in from the Lower South lots – just in time to catch guitarist Billy Nerhi’s shredder of a solo in the opening song “Sometimes A River” (the liquid-themed tunes would be prevalent for the duration of the weekend). The Kyle Hollingsworth tune “Lost” followed “River” and allowed for a superb smooth and flowing pluckiness/piano jam between Nershi and Hollingsworth, before Michael Kang jumped with the loud speak of his electric mandolin. The first set was closed out with the crowd favorite “Colorado Bluebird Sky,” bluegrass up-tempo and all.

Early in the second set the boys pulled a blistering bombshell of a “Miss Brown’s Teahouse” > “Chameleon” > “Miss Brown’s Teahouse” sandwich. The second set also provided an absolute masterful seven minute drum solo/African dance party courtesy of Michael Travis and Jason Hann. As Hann was slapping his bongos like a man possessed, the rest of the band returned to the stage and segued into a seamless twelve minute “Desert Dawn.” The rocking “Outside And Inside” was chosen for the encore and sent the crowd home with appetites fully wetted for the rest of the weekend.

While it could be debated that, overall, Thursday was the slowest tempo-ed of the three days, one thing can be said for certain; I walked out of Red Rocks after night one floored by how well the transitions went and the bountiful musical banter between the band mates.

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There are 7 comments associated with this post

Mark July 28, 2012, 03:42:36

Your reviews on this site are so inconsistent. They are some great review than thier is sh*t like this. Where is the editors? I can care less if this guy got high in his car when it rained. Is this first person or third person point of view? Also he drops S-bombs, which is fine. But why do you sensor your comment section & let a kid who probably is 18 ramble on like its his diary. Bush league review for a run I would love to know how S.C.I actually sounded. Not what a kid did & who he picked up. I am glad to know it rain alot.

PUGDOG July 28, 2012, 12:38:51

Jeez…I thought it was a swell review…it’s nice hearing reviews coming from heads who were actually there in the truest sense.
Keep up the grateful work…

Davey Moore July 29, 2012, 02:14:13

Yo Markskis,
I know life can be tough living in your parents’ basement, but come on, man! Let’s keep the vibes positive and admit Chunkle tore it up in this review.
Yours truely,
Les Moore

JoeCamp July 29, 2012, 14:48:07

Excellent review from Charlie, as usual. I can always count on him to give me a detailed, colorful, entertaining account of a show or run when I can’t make it. Keep up the good work. Mark: no one is going to respect your troll work if you don’t improve your grammar and spelling. Is English your first language?

Scotty T July 30, 2012, 13:16:31

Great article! Love it when you can give all the relative information while peppering in your personal account at te same time. That’s why I like and relate to your articles, do nice work sir. P.s. you can always gauge your success by how many haters you’ve got! Mark: until you write articles for others to pick apart, put down the hateraid and keep your teeth together!!

Iceman>Maverick August 1, 2012, 17:54:22

Awesome review Charlie! Friday was crazy daisy and I really enjoyed reliving the experience via your account!! Hearty folks we are!

Xav August 11, 2012, 20:06:46

I’ve been in art classes since I was litlte. And I draw all the time, too. It’s taken me years to get to this level, and I’m way better than I was even a year ago. Thanks for your interest!

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