With a four night run at Red Rocks Amphitheatre to commemorate the band’s two decades of joyful music making, The String Cheese Incident said goodbye to their most loyal fan base thanks to a little help from Peak Experience. The first night of the run began on Thursday, August 9. As many fans were still on their way to the event, nearly a third of the venue was left empty, but when the band opened the night with their infamous cover of “Birdland,” expectations were immediately upped for the weekend to come. Later in the set, the crowd was delighted by the youthful presence of bass player Keith Moseley‘s daughter, who graced Cheeseheads with her hoola hooping skills during “Emma’s Dream.” In the second set the band delivered a sturdy rendition of “Comfortably Numb,” and by this time people were ready to get down and dirty. What followed was an epic three-song punch consisting of “Miss Brown’s Tea House,” Herbie Hancock’s “Chameleon,” and “M.B.T.H.” Wrapping the set up with an Allman Brother’s classic, “Jessica,” and the Temptations’ “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” Thursday’s show left the crowd in a complete state of ecstasy. At the show’s close, Moseley beamed outward and stated his thanks and love for everyone who made it.
The String Cheese Incident at Red Rocks
Shots from The String Cheese Incident’s final shows at Red Rocks Ampitheatre
Friday’s sold out show drew in a massive lot scene as folk of all ages were mingling and preparing for the evening’s show. By as early as five o’ clock fans were lined up ready to claim their dancing territory for the night. As I entered the venue for the first time I was completely thunderstruck as smiling faces competed with tales and stories of shows from past tours. Keeping everyone on edge, the band casually approached their instruments at 7:45 p.m., then paused to soak in the energy for a few moments before opening with “On the Road.” The boys stuck to their roots during their first set, running bluegrass jams up and down the mountain with tunes like “Remington Ride,” and spicing it up with their samba-tinged tune, “MLT,” and Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish.” Danny Sears and Chris Cuzme - trumpet and sax players, respectively, from The Tonal Evangelist - graced the stage, adding their 10% to Friday’s 110% energy show. Later in the evening the band took advantage of their time, playing a non-stop, eight song second set. The highlight of the night came when drummer, Michael Travis moon walked out as a Michael Jackson impersonator, leaving the crowd slightly confused as to why percussionist Jason Hann had taken a seat at the set, not realizing that it was Travis in the wig and sequined glove. With the bass line running, fans almost lost it all together as people called out the hit, “Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough,” minutes before it dropped.
On Saturday, after a mix of ninety-five degree heat and sunshine accompanied by a slew of scattered hailstorms, the festivities for evening were once again well under way early in the day. Through the community of fans, Conscious Alliance introduced The Hand family, Natives from the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, and the Whiteman family from the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana. The families then thanked the crowd for helping them to build a distribution center on the South Dakota reservation. The families performed music and danced as a gesture of thanks and blessing to the fans, then presented the band with a hand-made Lakota Star quilt representing strength and long life. The ceremony ended in a flurry of hugs and thanks as the band launched into their first song of the night, “Little Hands.”