String Cheese Incident Tour Journal: Port Chester, NY (11/12/14)

All photos from 11/11/14 by Brady Cooling

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The String Cheese Incident delivered an impressive show at their first-ever performance at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester. They nodded to the Grateful Dead, who enjoyed the famed venue, by covering “Shakedown Street” and played a variety of Cheese classics for a really strong show. The second night of their Port Chester run didn’t slow things down…not even a bit.

The band kicked things off with “Johnny Cash,” a fun bluegrass tune of which Billy Nershi changed around some lyrics to mention Johnny Cash’s new vape pen. It was clear from the get-go that the band was firing on all cylinders, in the midst of delivering one of their best shows of the year.

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“Got What He Wanted” was a rare bust-out that ended up fixing in to a 16-minute jam, pairing with what LiveCheese.com is calling the “Port Chester Jam.” The song hadn’t been played since 2012, and diehard fans were really appreciating the vintage queso. “Hotel Window” provided a short mellow moment before the jam hit. Flashing lights and guitar noodling transformed the somber tune in to one of the night’s big ragers.

“Climb” was another big bust-out of a rare tune, and had the entire place bouncing. “Big Shoes” added to the fun before “Rosie” ended the first set with a Todd Stoops (Keys player for Kung Fu, Raq) sit-in that had patrons all around the Cap saying “WTF!?” I schooled a handful of people on who Stoops was and the bands he is in, providing aid to the brain-melted fans who were still comprehending what just happened.

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Set two started with a 16-minute “Texas,” the only “Texas” of the tour. “Pack It Up” got funky and allowed Kyle Hollingsworth to flex his keyboard skills, probably still inspired from Stoop’s sit-in like the rest of us. “Rhythm of the Road” > “Can’t Stop Now” was a monster 20-minute sing-along, bluegrass stomper, priming the audience for a big finish.

“Piece of Mine” before a huge “Rivertrance” before a huge “Just One Story” was a massive 42-minute closing sequence that nearly popped the roof clear off the Capitol Theatre. Engaging the audience with their variety of eclectic sounds while creating tension and releasing it produced an epic finish for their long-awaited return to the big apple. And they still weren’t done!

“Tore Up Over You” brought the Garcia-roots back in to play, and then a cover of Paul Simon’s “Under African Skies” was as much a nod to New York City as it is to Cheese’s affection towards world music. Only they would segue a world tune in to yet-another bluegrass rager in “Whiskey Before Breakfast.” The night ended on a unique, well-executed note.

Cheese wrapped up their fall tour last night in Burlington, VT, and while we couldn’t be there, we’re stoked on the level these guys are playing at. We feel lucky enough to have caught a handful of the shows, and can’t wait to see these guys next time!

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11/12/2014 CAPITOL THEATRE, PORT CHESTER, NY

Set One
Johnny Cash > Got What He Wanted > Beautiful, Hotel Window > Climb, Big Shoes > Rosie1

Set Two
Texas, Pack It Up, Rhythm Of The Road > Can’t Stop Now, Piece Of Mine, Rivertrance, Just One Story

Encore
Tore Up Over You, Under African Skies > Whiskey Before Breakfast

Notes
1 with Todd Stoops from Kung Fu

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