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.
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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.”
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.
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.”
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!
Just when I thought it couldn’t get any better, bass player Keith
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.
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!
Check out our article about the Red Rocks Concert Experience!
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