The String Cheese Incident have pretty much been on hiatus since August of 2007, except for a handful of shows, but you would never guess it based on their performance at the legendary Hampton Coliseum this past Halloween, or should I say “Hulaween?” They gave us all, who were fortunate enough to attend, an amazingly good time. They seemed to be playing their classic songs with a new darker spin. A good example is the Joyful Sound that was played on Friday.
It was also very obvious this weekend that the guys have been busy with their side projects, because they did a good job at showcasing this fact. There were a couple of times, for example, where everyone in the band left the stage except for Jason Hann and Michael Travis and the audience was treated to an EOTO show. A comical highlight for me, on Friday, was when Bill Nershi came back out and started blending his blue grass guitar with EOTO’s electronic sound. He referred to it as “grasstronica.”
Hulaween with the String Cheese Incident just wouldn’t be the same without their entertaining and sometimes comical covers, and the band blew the audience away when on Friday night, during the encore, Michael Travis left the stage only to reappear dressed as David Lee Roth, as the band played the 80’s tune Jump by Van Halen. He sang and even did the high jumps in classic “Diamond Dave” style without missing a beat…too funny!
Saturday night, of course, was the anticipated 3 set show, and as usual, the guys put on a special theme for the second set. This year it was an outerspace theme to go along with the fact they were playing at the “mother-ship” of all concert venues, Hampton, complete with large screens containing visual flashbacks of classic sci-fi films such as Tron and Barbarella, just to name a couple.
The audience danced hard to fun “spacey” well performed covers like, It’s the End of the World as we Know it by REM, Mothership Connection by Parliament (accompanied by the fabulous Liza Oxnard and Keller Williams), Space Cowboy by Jamiroquai, and Planet Claire by the B-52’s.
But really, no matter what the set list, it was apparent that fans miss SCI. Everyone had a good time, but we want them to come back and tour again. They are on top of there game, but with a twist, because they are playing a lot more electronically and a little bit darker. I think that people in the jam scene who may not like String Cheese because they are “too happy” would be pleasantly surprised by the way they are performing now.
Set 1: Best Feeling > Texas > Daryl, Walls of Time, Yo Se, Got What He Wanted > Black Clouds, Miss Brown’s Teahouse > L’il Liza Jane > Miss Brown’s Teahouse
Encore: Jellyfish > Jump
Set 1: Come As You Are, Restless Wind, Rain, Pack It Up, Turn This Around > Breathe > Turn This Around, Rivertrance, Las Vegas
Set 2: It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)1, Fly Like an Eagle > Born On The Wrong Planet, MothershipConnection2, Space Cowboy1, Groove Is In The Heart2, 21st Century Schizoid Man, Major Tom (Coming Home)1, Planet Claire1 > Major Tom (Coming Home) > It’s The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
Set 3: Piece of Mine, Bumpin’ Reel, Shine, Drifting > MLT > Drums > Desert Dawn
Encore: Search, Howard
Guests: 1 with Liza Oxnard, 2 with Keller Williams and Liza Oxnard