Port Chester NY-
Words- Tyler Curtis
Photos- Nick Irving
After a three year hiatus from the great state of New York, String Cheese Incident’s return was a welcome and exciting treat, like a giant hug from an old best friend. Playing only their second show ever at the Port Chester’s Capitol Theatre, the Boulder CO jamgrass pioneers found themselves in front of two riled-up, sold out crowds. The abnormally broad range of individual music styles of the members of SCI creates one of the most dynamic live shows one could ever see, and is what draws all walks of life. Older Cheese family were ecstatic to be given the opportunity to take the ride once more, while tons of new fans jumped aboard- everyone was grinning ear to ear. This show, 11.12.14, proved to be a highlight among their praised 14 show 2014 East Coast tour that kicked off at their own Suwanee Hulaween Festival in Florida over Halloween weekend.
The first set was packed with solos and swift picking, foreshadowed by the opener. While in the past it has been in the closing slot, the show kicked off with an early staple known as “Johnny Cash.” Typically you’re not going to start off with a serious jam vehicle, but when you’re oiled up, your performance is often full of satisfying surprises. Toning things down from a rambunctious start was “Hotel Window.” Like a snowball rolling down a hill, their second impression of the night started off slow and quiet, but as it rolled down the hill, it picked up some weight and packed a punch. They would use this energy to switch gears into “Climb” before setting up the set closer with an electric guitar strapped Nershi led “Big Shoes” into a stretched out funky “Rosie.” The latter contained a killer sit-in from Kung-Fu keyboardist Todd Stoops, using one side of Kyle Hollingsworth’s keyboard space.
Much like the first set, the second set opened up with fan favorite “Texas.” Here we saw Bill Nershi stretch his hands and rip up his acoustic guitar. Because of the rule of chemistry, Kang propelled forward with some impressive licks, and circulated the excitement around the stage. Two songs later things got very jazzy, held down by the EOTO rhythm section and Keith Moseley on bass. “Rhythm Of The Road” served as a laid-back catchy ditty that tore open towards the end, giving the Port Chester crowd a perfect dance number. Moving from a smooth sound to the classic jamgrass style that SCI is known for, “Can’t Stop Now” came next bearing gifts. The second set would come to a close with the fiddle laced “Rivertrance” and a blazing hot “Just One Story” that was headed by Kang.
The band would reemerge for a three song cover encore, containing the Jerry Garcia Band song “Tore Up Over You,” Paul Simon’s “Under African Skies” off of Graceland and the bluegrass staple “Whiskey Before Breakfast.” Overall, it was the party atmosphere and demanding instrumentation that resulted in a successful night two of two show in the beautiful Capitol Theatre. One can only hope that such an incident repeats itself and that the party lives on.
with Todd Stoops (Kung Fu) on keyboards
Source: Friends of Cheese