The String Cheese Incident returned to its home away from home this past weekend for a three-night run at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO. The second of three shows saw String Cheese welcome special guests Peter Anspach (Goose) and Kim Dawson at various points throughout the show.
Having made its triumphant return to the stage on July 4th at The Peach Music Festival, SCI has hit the ground running this past week with a five-night string of concerts in its native Colorado. After performing two nights at Dillon Amphitheater, it was on to the big time with the band’s annual three-night run at Red Rocks. Though sparks flew all three nights of the run, Saturday’s show stands out in particular thanks to some special friends of Cheese.
After opening with a dark take on the radio-friendly “Sirens” the show was officially on the road with a segue into “Believe”. Runs through “Sweet Spot” and “Freedom Jazz Dance” kept the show rolling before the pairing of “Windy Mountain” and Josef Zawinul’s “Birdland”. Then came the first big surprise of the show as Cheese welcomed vocalist Kim Dawson to the stage for a powerful take on the Led Zeppelin stomper “Misty Mountain Hop”, an appropriate choice for the Red Rocks show. Things then got a bit more tranquil with the jovial “Let’s Go Outside”, still featuring Dawson, to close out the first set.
The String Cheese Incident – “Sirens” – Morrison, CO – 7/17/21
The String Cheese Incident w/ Kim Dawson – “Misty Mountain Hop” (Led Zeppelin) – Morrison, CO – 7/17/21
[Video: Live For Live Music]
Returning for the second frame, Cheese picked right back up with “You’ve Got the World” before pulling another musical rabbit out of a hat like the musical magician the group is. As keyboardist Kyle Hollingsworth was laying into the intro of “Jellyfish”, Goose keyboardist Peter Anspach emerged from the wings to lend a hand. This marked the multi-instrumentalist’s first time on the famed Red Rocks stage. Together, Anspach and Hollingsworth formed a four-armed keyboard-playing unit that drove the “Jellyfish” journey to even funkier new territory.
The String Cheese Incident – “You’ve Got the World” – Morrison, CO – 7/17/21
The String Cheese Incident w/ Peter Anspach – “Jellyfish” – Morrison, CO – 7/17/21
[Video: Live For Live Music]
As slyly as he walked onstage, Anspach departed as the band kept the jam rolling straight on through “Rollover” and “Sweet Melinda”. Despite the brief stoppage in play, there was no loss of energy as The String Cheese Incident tore into “BollyMunster” before a pairing of “Way Back Home” and “Desert Dawn” closed out the second set.
The String Cheese Incident then emerged for the encore with extra personnel as Dawson once again joined the band for Stevie Wonder‘s “Boogie On Reggae Woman”. After bidding farewell to Dawson for the final time that evening, Cheese closed the show with the Rocky Mountain anthem, “Colorado Bluebird Sky”.
Setlist: The String Cheese Incident | Red Rocks Amphitheatre | Morrison, CO | 7/17/21
Set One: Sirens > Believe, Sweet Spot, Freedom Jazz Dance, Windy Mountain > Birdland, Misty Mountain Hop , Let’s Go Outside 
Set Two: You’ve Got the World, Jellyfish  > Rollover > Sweet Melinda, BollyMunster, Way Back Home > Desert Dawn
Encore: Boogie On Reggae Woman , Colorado Bluebird Sky
 with Kim Dawson on vocals
 with Peter Anspach on keys