SCI Commemorates Lunar Landing with Stellar Performance at Red Rocks

Red Rocks is an iconic concert venue that every music fan should visit at least once. We finally got there for two nights of The String Cheese Incident as they celebrated their 25th year as a band. Saturday’s show featured Keller Williams on stage with SCI, followed by two more sets of SCI doing some incredible jams, including a musical nod to the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11.

Red Rocks Amphitheater before SCI show
Red Rocks

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SCI with Keller Williams
SCI with Keller Williams

SCI Set 1: Breathe

String Cheese and Keller Williams have a long history together, frequently sharing the stage at various jam band festivals. In 1999, they collaborated on the album “Breathe.” To celebrate the 20th anniversary of that recording, Keller joined SCI to perform the whole album live. Here they are doing “Best Feeling.”

SCI with Keller Williams: Best Feeling

As he left the stage, Keller thanked the audience for welcoming him into the String Cheese family, and told us to prepare for two more sets of Cheese.

The folks in our section got a little bonus show: a few rows in front of us, we saw a guy propose to his girlfriend. She accepted and cheers erupted. Unbeknownst to them at the time, the couple was in for one heck of an engagement party as the evening progressed.

Getting engaged with the music ... literally!
Some people really engage with the music.

SCI Set 2: Great Jamming

Set 2 included some nice jamming, including a lengthy “Rollover” and this version of “Rhythm of The Road,” which blended into the Deadhead favorite “I Know You Rider.”

Rhythm of The Road > I Know You Rider

SCI Set 3: Out of This World!

In the final set of the evening, Cheese delivered a killer performance that included a lively “Colorado Bluebird Sky” with rich vocal harmonies. A three-piece horn section joined for “Jellyfish,” which broke into a fast jam before returning back to its normal groove. There may be some immediacy bias here, but I thought the entire set was one of the best jam sessions I’ve ever heard. It occurred to me that the location might have influenced my attitude as well, but it’s equally likely that the venue brings out the best in performers. Whatever the reason, the band was in sync and playing an amazing set. But wait … there’s more!

Tom and Lisa watching SCI at Red Rocks
Who wears a NASA shirt to a String Cheese concert?
THIS guy, when it’s the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing.

Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, bass player Keith Mosseley acknowledged the 50th anniversary of the first moonwalk, which launched a medley of space-related songs, including the theme from Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Trek (TOS), Star Trek (TNG), Star Wars (movie theme, music from the famous bar scene, and the Imperial March). I was thinking, “They’ve got to work in the 2001 theme” (Also Sprach Zarathustra), and wow … did they ever! The medley featured a visual display that blended animated rockets with actual film footage of the Apollo missions. Here’s a short clip:


Video credit: Boulder Media House

Keyboardist Kyle Hollingsworth, who’s known for wearing some pretty wild attire, sported an astronaut helmet throughout the space jam.

Spaceman Kyle
Spaceman Kyle (Image credit:@wallyographypw)

In for a Landing…

The medley came back to Earth by revisiting “Rollover” to complete the set. Cheese then left the stage and the lights came up immediately. As we boarded the shuttle back to the hotel, we heard one guy saying, “I think they could have squeezed in an encore.” Maybe so, but I don’t know how they could have followed that performance. They left it all on the stage with that set, with nothing more to be said.

We got back to the hotel tired from dancing but still wired from the energy of the show. And the best thing: we had another serving of Cheese to look forward to!

You can buy a soundboard recording of the show from the SCI website.

Check out our article about the Red Rocks Concert Experience!

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