With a quick turnaround on the heels of a three set New Year’s Eve show, The String Cheese Incident spoiled friends and family to more of that cheesy goodness on their second night at Broomfield’s 1st Bank Center. While the costumes and elaborate spectacles were reeled in (as much as they can be at a SCI show), the 3D screen was stunning and the music seemingly more engaged. Hangovers be damned, the band and crowd came to jig.
The boys of SCI took the stage late, around 8:45, but wasted no time treating the faithful to one of their well known anthems, “’Round The Wheel.” Pandemonium swept across the venue as multitudes of different colored glow sticks rained down and the lighting rigs sprang to life alongside bearded Bill Nershi. The band was all smiles as they continued into “100 Year Flood.” Michael Kang and Jason Hann played eye to eye while the band unfolded in harmony, slipping into a synth fueled Michael Travis freestyle and the ever-uplifting “Shine.”
“45th of November” caught some of the seemingly committed and costumed fans with their pants down. Kyle Hollingsworth, wearing a red onesie, wrote the music and longtime Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter provided the words for the live rarity, as Kang mentioned. Hollinsgworth sang a snippet of The Beatles’ “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” on the tail end.
“Outside and Inside” brought a balancing dose of fun-loving Nershi funk before going off the deep end with the transformative jazz of “Birdland,” featuring electronic breakdowns and bass bombs by Keith Moseley, and fiddle-licking good picking. With the conclusion of the Weather Report instrumental, the first set on the first day of 2016 was in the books.
“If you can’t beat them, join them,” Nershi proclaimed as SCI returned to the stage, launching into the electronic funk-grass stomp of “Colliding.” “Rhythm of the Road” led into Nershi’s home ode, “Colorado Bluebird Sky,” and the video screen displayed the Colorado flag waving in the wind of white-capped rocky mountain peaks.
Things started jamming together with “Stay Through” and Bob Marley’s “Exodus.” The back-to-back punch of “Rivertrance,” in all its psyche-Celtic glory, and the lighthearted bob of “Rollover,” extended into quite the instrumental to end set two. The crowd cheered in appreciation as the band departed the stage, setting up a lengthy and memorable encore as the clock turned past midnight.
Michael Travis and Jason Hann welcomed Kris Myers of Umphrey’s McGee for a wild drum jam before the rest of the guys returned to the stage with Umphrey’s Brendan Bayless on guitar. “We’re going to keep this party going,” Kang said before Bayless led them through a take on Blondie’s “Heart of Glass.” He had no trouble hitting the falsetto notes, and they jammed right into Hollingsworth’s “Let’s Go Outside” to round the whole thing out.
With the New Year hangover in the rearview mirror, the costumed fans made their way to the exits under the audible eargasm that is Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long” playing over the PA. “We’re going to party, Karamu, fiesta, forever,” and the jig goes on.