On Monday night, The String Cheese Incident returned to Broomfield, CO’s 1STBANK Center to close out their three-night New Year’s run with a stellar three-set grand finale. The band crushed it their first two shows of the run, highlighted by some standout collaborative moments with fiddle masters Sam Bush and Darol Anger, followed by Robert Randolph, Ivan Neville, Ian Neville, and Tony Hall the following night.
The String Cheese Incident opened up the first set with “Outside Inside”, getting the rowdy hometown crowd on their feet out of the gates. Bill Nershi and Michael Kang traded off some firey hot licks, as Keith “Moose” Moseley held down the low end with a bubbly groove. With Kang hopping over to fiddle, the familiar opening segment of “Bollymuster” rang out, igniting a full-fledged dance party while the night was still extremely young.
The bluegrass number “Gone Crooked” was up next, before bringing the salsa-influenced “MLT”, continuing to feed off of the crowd’s percolating energy on an extremely frigid and snowy Colorado night. The sextet continued trucking forward with the sweet and smooth “My One And Only” off of 2017’s Believe. Kyle Hollingsworth, Kang, and Nershi shined with some tender vocal harmonies, allowing Moseley to take the vocal lead moving into “Joyful Sound”. Following a feel-good “Joyful Sound”, the Barefoot Boys brought the first set to a close with a rocking cover of Rush’s “Tom Sawyer”, last played at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in 2015.
SCI got creative with their second set opener, as the band debuted “Into The Blue”, a new tune out of their SCI Sound Lab. The crowd showered the hometown heroes with applause and their upmost attention. Hollingsworth then led his bandmates into “Let’s Go Outside”, before Nershi took the reigns on his Fender Telecaster, unleashing an electrifying solo as Hollingsworth followed closely behind. A standard take on “One Step Closer” followed, before the six-piece moved forward with a smoothly-segued one-two combo of “Windy Mountain” and “Sirens”. Love and light was flowing throughout the 1STBANK Center as the band belted out, “I just wanna say I love you, and make sure you feel it everyday.” The band kept on chugging forward with “Best Feeling”, before bringing wrapping up set two with “Rosie”, as lighting designer Andrew Cass showcased his visual magic, taking the band to a fifth, extraterrestrial dimension.
With 15 minutes left of 2018, The String Cheese Incident came back onstage with a Bill Nershi initiated “Group Hoot”, inviting the crowd to yell at the top of their lungs for a good minute. The band moved forward with “Colliding”, a perfect selection to ramp up the energy heading into 2019. With theatrical performers and dancers on stage, life-size inflatable dolphins, and balloons galore, Cheese finally brought the raucous jam to a close, wishing their crowd a happy new year and thanking them for their continuous support over their illustrious 25-year career.
A highlight of the evening was “Rollover”, as the band threw in a verse of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”, before setting the gearshift in to deep improvisational territory. The deep improvisational momentum reminded for the remainder of the evening, as Cheese let it all hang out with a well-calculated “The Big Reveal”, chock-full of explosive Michael Kang solos. With time running down, SCI dove into a cover of the Talking Heads‘ “This Must Be The Place”, before dropping back into “Rollover” to close the jam played earlier, and bring their well-executed New Year’s Eve extravaganza. The old-school “Good Times Around The Bend” served as the evening’s encore, leaving fans with a sweet a savory taste for what’s to come in the band’s upcoming 2019 25th anniversary concerts.
For a full list of upcoming String Cheese Incident tour dates and ticketing information, head to the band’s website here.
Setlist: The String Cheese Incident | 1STBANK Center | Broomfield, CO | 12/31/2018
Set One: Outside Inside > BollyMunster, Gone Crooked, MLT > My One & Only, Joyful Sound > Tom Sawyer*
Set Two: Into the Blue^, Let’s Go Outside, One Step Closer, Windy Mountain > Sirens, Best Feeling > Rosie
Set Three: Group Hoot, Colliding > Happy New Year, Rollover > Bohemian Rhapsody verse > The Big Reveal, This Must Be the Place > Rollover
Encore: Good Times Around the Bend
*: Rush cover, LTP 07-26-15
^: FTP, SCI Sound Lab debut