String Cheese Incident Is Firing On All Cylinders In Milwaukee

first_imgLoad remaining images After nine long years, The String Cheese Incident returned to Milwaukee, WI on Friday, October 16 for the 3rd stop on their highly anticipated fall tour. The band was psyched to play in the “Land of Cheese,” and the eager energy in the room showed that the audience was equally as excited to have the group back. The Riverside Theater provided a beautiful backdrop for Andy Cass’ stunning light show, and the venue’s acoustics created an incredibly balanced and crisp mix throughout the evening.The group opened up with “Birdland”, and after easing into the initial jam with a relaxed patience they then launched into a thrilling “Flying North Jam”. This galloping bluegrass jam allowed each member to take a lead until mandolin player Michael Kang brought the song to an epic peak before returning back to the thematic conclusion of “Birdland”. The room was pulsing and the crowd roared with excitement. It was clear the band was practiced up and as tight as ever.They then cooled things down with “Sometimes A River” (possibly as a nod to the venue) which included a ripping organ solo from Kyle Hollingsworth. Through out the night, Hollingsworth was totally in the zone, and every one of his solos showcased his stunning ability to build a calm groove into a high-energy fist-pumping frenzy. “Betray the Dark” was up next and fit in nicely with the flow of the set, and a beautiful “Barstool” created some heartfelt melodies with Kang on acoustic mandolin.The band then kicked off an uber-funky “¡Bam!” which drove the crowd into an all-out dance party. The open jam that followed moved into a beautifully melodic territory before transitioning into a cover of the Talking Heads’ “This Must Be The Place”. After the composed section, the group navigated the jam into a dark and mystical space which had the audience hanging on every note as the band drew the tension higher and higher. They then segued into the set-closing “Rivertrance” (possibly as another nod to the venue) which included superb fiddle playing from Michael Kang complemented by Hollingsworth’s emphatic organ. As always, “Rivertrance” dialed up the intensity in the room and it created a powerful exclamation point on a thrilling first set.Jumping right back into the groove, the group opened up the 2nd set with a spirited “Desert Dawn” which reached a series of massive climaxes. The ending quickly moved into the mellow “Joyful Sound,” in which the band extended the outro and patiently explored some spacey improv with great interplay between Hollingsworth and guitarist Bill Nershi. “Joyful Sound” then transitioned into “Close Your Eyes” where Nershi confidently led much of the jam on acoustic guitar before Kang took the group to a soaring peak.After a run-through of “Cottonmouth,” the group went into the hit “Colliding” from Cheese’s most recent studio work, Song In My Head. The song is a great representation of the band’s compositional skills, and it’s anthemic vocal hooks always make it a welcome addition to a set.“It Is What It Is” came out to rock and was propelled by the rock solid drum work of Michael Travis and percussionist Jason Hann. The jam landed powerfully with the audience and transitioned into a bouncey “Tumblin’”. To close out the set, the group charged through a momentous “Colorado Bluebird Sky” which was highlighted by stellar lead work by both Kang and Hollingsworth. A warming cover of Bob Dylan’s “Quinn The Eskimo” closed out the night, and fans cheered with elation.String Cheese is simply firing on all cylinders. Throughout the night, you couldn’t help but realize how truly indispensable each member of the group is, and the energy and sound they create is something you can only get at a Cheese show. Their fall tour continues throughout October, including a stop at NYC’s Theater at Madison Square Garden on October 23-24 (win tickets here!), as well as headlining the highly anticipated Suwannee Hulaween festival in Live Oak, Florida.Setlist: String Cheese Incident at The Riverside Theater, Milwaukee, WI – 10/16/15Set One: Birdland > Flying North Jam > Birdland, Sometimes A River, Betray The Dark, Barstool, Bam > This Must Be The Place > RivertranceSet Two: Desert Dawn > Joyful Sound, Close Your Eyes, Cottonmouth, Colliding, It Is What It Is, Tumblin’, Colorado Bluebird SkyE: Quinn The EskimoFull gallery of photos below, courtesy of Daniel Ojeda Photography:last_img

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