SCI | 11.17 - 18 | ATLANTA, GA

The SCI revival continued to pick up members this past weekend when the band rolled into Atlanta for two highly anticipated and sold-out shows at the Tabernacle. The Tabernacle is a large, former Baptist church that was converted into an elaborate and trippy House of Blues during the 1996 Olympics. These shows (save for a free one-set show at University of Florida) ended a historic tour for SCI, in which the Boulder band played before large, packed theaters and college gyms throughout the Midwest, northeast, and southeast United States, converting the masses on a nightly basis. The Atlanta Incidents were highly anticipated as many flew into Atlanta from all over the country. While it could be debated which of the two shows was hotter, there was no denying that these shows were two of the hottest this tour.

Friday night began with the fan favorite, "Smile," which immediately had everyone up, dancing, and, well, smiling. The band didn't mess around when immediately after "Smile" the Reverend Keith Mosely starting thumping the bass-line to his grooving tune, "Joyful Sound," which lead into a red-hot jam with musician extraordinaire, Tony Furtado. Mr. Furtado added his guitar to the segue jam, and then his mandolin to the electrifying bluegrass ditty, "Orange Blossom Special." After several other songs, the band segued out of the Kyle Hollingsworth New Orleans funk tune, "Missin' Me" into an amazing version of Led Zeppelin's, "Ramble On." The second set was jam-packed full of goodies and featured a lengthy and spacey rendition of Miles Davis' "Impressions" (which included a "Land's End" jam). Tony Furtado (on banjo) then played on an energetic version of Peter Rowan's "Midnight Moonlight". The Talking Head's hypnotic tune, "This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)" was played for the second time this tour, followed by another crowd pleaser, "Mrs. Brown's Teahouse." After a moving rendition of "Wake Up," Tony Furtado re-emerged on banjo and played on the set closing, "Black Clouds," and on the first two encores--the rarely played, "Old Home Place" and equally rare "Shenandoah Breakdown." Mr. Furtado changed to a electric guitar and the band closed out the first historic night with an inspirational version of Peter Gabriel's "Shaking the Tree."

Saturday night SCI took the stage and once again showed the dedicated crowd that they meant business when they opened up with the still-untitled, Hollingsworth composition, "Open Wide," which was quickly followed by the re-worked and rasta-fied Kang tune, "Rollover." The first set also featured the ever-developing Latin tune, "Latinismo," Keller Williams' "Best Feeling" (sans K-Dub), which, after a segued jam, slammed back into "Rollover" to finish the "Rollover" sandwich and the first set. The final set of the Atlanta shows was one of the hottest sets of the tour. A crazy "Jellyfish" opened the set and segued into the Jean-Luc Ponty instrumental "Rhum 'n Zouc." The always inspiring and uplifting, "Little Hands" followed. Later in the set, SCI broke out the Allman Brothers' "Ramblin' Man", a tune they haven't played in some time, which segued into the bluegrass ditty, "Wheelhoss." A nice, long, twisting and turning rendition of the SCI original instrumental, "Sand Dollar" followed and slid nicely into the set closing and rarely played, "Texas." The encores were almost added bonuses after the unbelievable second set: the Nershi original instrumental, "Drifting Away" was followed by the crunchy and tasty "Restless Wind." The energized crowd was left begging for more.

All-in-all history was made by SCI this tour, selling out larger and larger venues from Maine to Georgia, from Baltimore to Ann Arbor and all points in between. Next stop for the Cheese is some much-needed time off, followed by what is sure to be another historic New Year's run in Portland, Oregon at the Oregon Convention Center in which the theme for all three nights will be "Evolution" and will be co-produced with Deadhead Compendium author, John Dwork, and his unique production company, Peak Experience Productions. From the looks of things, this NYE will be a perfect celebration of SCI's best year to date, which saw them grow from playing clubs to playing large sold-out theaters, gyms, home-made festivals (such as Hornings Hideout and Sunshine Daydreams), and amphitheaters such as Red Rocks and the Greek Theater. For all of your New Years needs (including travel, tickets, hotel rooms and late night after-show parties) see www.stringcheeseincident.com.

See you in Portland and....

Take it Cheezy,

Marc Ross
JamBase Cheezy Correspondent
Go See Live Music!

[Published on: 11/21/00]

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