String Cheese Incident begins second set unplugged from the middle of the crowd

The String Cheese Incident has done some pretty unthinkable things since I first started catching them 7 years ago. Whether it’s an all-instrumental pickin’ party with bluegrass all-stars or a cover-filled production extravaganza at Hulaween, the band is constantly attempting to push the envelope in one way or another.

It’s hard to talk about the final night of the three-night Capitol Theatre run without starting at the beginning of the second set. The crowd was significantly lighter than the previous nights, and everyone was taking advantage by spacing themselves out with ample room on the general admission floor. SCI took advantage of the situation by parading into the front-center part of the crowd – right by the centermost rail-riders – and starting the show with an acoustic bluegrass rendition of “Dark Hollow”. It is a folky blugrass song written in 1958 by singer-songwriter Bill Browning, but mostly made popular in this circuit by the Grateful Dead. It’s the third song played in two nights with ties to the great Jerry Garcia, without explicitly playing one of his own songs. It was a beautiful, extremely unique, and special tribute to JG and a gift to the die-hards who persevered on Memorial Day Monday.

Second set also included a wonderfully executed “Best Feeling” which sandwiched a cover of The Police’s “Walking on the Moon”. “Texas” ended things off on a long and strange note before coming back out for a “Shakin’ the Tree” encore – a fitting end to a wonderful run.

With a spectacular and special second set, it would be easy to glance over the first, but they didn’t slouch then either! “Little Hands” segued into “Don’t It Make You Wanna Dance” really nicely for a 1-2 punch. Special guest Scott Sharrard, a wonderful NYC guitarist who most famously played with Gregg Allman for a long stretch of his final years, joined the band for “Outside and Inside” which jammed its way into a stellar “Hot Lanta”. The Allmans vibe was totally felt with Sharrard in tow, and the energy was as high as possible as the final notes rang out of the mystic Allman tune.

Overall it was a great end to a wonderful weekend. The String Cheese Incident, playing The Capitol Theatre for their third run in five years, have found somewhat of a NYC-area home there. Let’s hope it isn’t too long before they return!

The Capitol Theatre – Port Chester, NY – 5/27/2019

Set 1: You’ve Got The World, Sweet Spot, Little Hands> Don’t It Make You Wanna Dance, Beautiful, Outside and Inside*> Hot Lanta*

Set 2: Dark Hollow^, Into the Blue, Joyful Sound> Rumble, Best Feeling> Walking on the Moon> Best Feeling> Funky Sloth jam> Colliding, Texas

Encore: Shakin’ The Tree

*- w/ Scott Sharrard on electric guitar
^- Acoustic, played from the crowd, LTP 7/15/2006