On Friday night, The String Cheese Incident opened up their three-night run at Morrison, CO’s gorgeous Red Rocks Amphitheatre. Last night’s show marked SCI’s 40th time playing at the beloved outdoor amphitheater. Funk/jazz guitarist Cory Wong and his band handled the evening’s opening duties, offering up a funk-filled dance party chock-full of his flavorful guitar licks.

As the band walked onstage, Bill Nershi stepped up to the mic and exclaimed, “I remember walking down on this stage with my family and thinking this is where I’ll stand when String Cheese plays here. Tonight is our 40th show at Red Rocks!” The String Cheese Incident opened up their first set with a lengthy “Little Hands”, highlighted by some delicate interplay between Michael Kang and Kyle Hollingsworth. “Little Hands” smoothly flowed into “Mouna Bowa”, giving Kang a chance to flex his chops on the fiddle. Nershi swapped out his acoustic guitar for an electric as the band moved forward with a cover of The Band’s “Ophelia”, with Keith Moseley handling the vocal lead.

The String Cheese Incident – “Little Hands” – 7/19/2019

[Video: The String Cheese Incident]

Following an explosive “Close Your Eyes”, SCI invited up Cory Wong, along with his keyboardist Kevin Gastonguay and percussionist Peter Janjic, to add some extra layers of funk on “Freedom Jazz Dance”. With Moseley hammering away on the bass, Kang and Wong traded off some red-hot licks. The band moved back into their regular six-piece configuration to close out the first set with a pairing of “Vertigo” into “Tinder Box”.

Following a brief setbreak, The String Cheese Incident returned with Wong and his full band to open up their second set with a cover of Steve Wonder‘s “I Wish”, led by Kang on vocals. The sextet moved forward with solid takes on “Bollymunster” and “Black Clouds” before Nershi slowed things down with a tender “Windy Mountain”. “Windy Mountain” crashed into “Illegal”, a newer tune out of the SCI Sound Lab written by Michael Travis. Following “Illegal”, Hollingsworth led his bandmates through “Can’t Wait Another Day” before the band brought their set to a close with “Texas”. SCI returned to deliver a lone encore of Led Zeppelin’s “Ramble On”, leaving the hometown crowd with high hopes for the remainder of the weekend run.

The String Cheese Incident – “I Wish” – 7/19/2019

[Video: The String Cheese Incident]

Check out a gorgeous gallery of photos last night’s below show courtesy of photographer Daniel Ojeda.

The String Cheese Incident returns to Red Rocks tonight, Saturday, July 20th for their second of three shows. Tonight’s show will feature a collaborative set with Keller Williams to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their 1999 Breathe album. For a full list of the band’s upcoming tour dates, ticketing, and more information, head to The String Cheese Incident’s website.

Setlist: The String Cheese Incident | Red Rocks Amphitheatre | Morrison, CO | 7/19/19

Set One: Little Hands > Mouna Bowa, Ophelia, Close Your Eyes, Freedom Jazz Dance* > Vertigo > Tinder Box

Set Two: I Wish^, Bollymunster, Black Clouds, Windy Mountain > Illegal > Can’t Wait Another Day > Texas

Encore: Ramble On

* w/ Cory Wong on guitar, Kevin Gastonguay on keys, Peter Janjic on percussion

^ w/ Cory Wong full band and horns