We arrived at the Red Rocks lot around 4:20 and the party began. There were so many faces that I have not seen in the past few years. The String Cheese community is my extended family...and this three night Red Rocks run was serving as the beginning of a 2 week long family reunion.
I was hard pressed to find many positive thoughts about the music immediately after Friday's show. That's not to say I didn't have an amazing time seeing so many faces I have not seen in the past few years, but the band lacked energy and inspiration, the jams were minimal. There weren't many flubs, per se, except the botched transition from Impressions > Round the Wheel, however the band seemed flat, stale, maybe nervous. I enjoyed Friday's first set much more then the second set, with some Cheese heavy hitters....Round The Wheel [unfinished] > This Must Be The Place (Naive Meloldy) > Lonesome Fiddle Blues. However the second set was only saved by a bustout of John Coltrane's Impressions towards the end of the set. I left the show and wondered if String Cheese still could send my soul to the reaches of the cosmos....worried that my musical wad wouldn't be blown until I arrived in Berkeley for the Phish shows.
What a difference a night can make....any reservations I had about my favorite band lacking inspiration were shattered immediately during the opening notes of Saturday's first set. A large group of Dance Police assembled at the GSpot, Dance Police Headquarters and we boarded party buses to ride to the lot in style. Auditory Elements and LanguageLove were providing dope beats on the ride to get our energy up and juices flowing. I ran into the Joker in the lot, donned in full Disco Ball garb, and he gave me my Team AWESOME credentials.
With laminates in place and the proper head space attained, blast off was eminent....The barefoot boys were on point with the Restless Wind opener...as my soul began to ascend towards the red rocks towering above, as I was reminded that my roots run deep with this band. I was not quite prepared for what was coming, as Billy began providing some context for the next song that was about to be played. Indian Creek was just what my dancing shoes needed, as Bill Nershi sent the whole crowd in a pickin' frenzy. BNR! The rest of the first set Indian Creek > Sweet Melinda > MLT, Jellyfish, Black Clouds was pure cheese magic and even included three parachuter's descending from the heavens, flying right over the crowd, just as my soul was reaching peak altitude. I could not be happier....this was exactly where I wanted to be, where I needed to be. I felt ridiculous even thinking for a moment that the magic could have been gone.
The second set saw a return of the parachuter's, but this time huge sparklers attached. They looked like a trio of rocketmen coming down from outer space. It was apt that the jump occurred during the jam out of Desert Dawn into a first time played cover of The Police's Synchronicity. The set continued to rage as the dance party continued...the crowd must've felt the presence of the entire Dance Police force, as I could not find a single person who was not getting down!! My personal highlight of the entire show was in the middle of Johnny Cash when the band began to play Hava Nagila. HolyCheeseballs!! I felt like I was at a Bar Mitzvah....I couldn't believe it, I was losing my shit and couldn't stop yelling Mazel Tov and L'Chaim. All that was I missing was being hoisted in the air by everyone in a chair. I was beyond stoked....the Cheese was finally playing some klezmer. Two Encores later, I could finally stop moving, my soul and body satisfied. Saturday nights show is why I see the String Cheese Incident, synchronicity between the band, the crowd and my soul. I'm really excited to see what tonight brings.....Stay tuned for a review of tonights Incident.