Photos & Review: The String Cheese Incident Conclude Weeknd In NYC

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Images by: Adam McCullough

The String Cheese Incident :: 10.24.15 :: Theater at Madison Square Garden :: NYC

Read on after the gallery for a recap of Saturday’s show.

The String Cheese Incident concluded the pre-Suwanee Hulaween portion of their Fall Tour on Saturday night with the second of two shows at the Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. SCI have moved far beyond the jamgrass sound that was so prevalent in the late ’90s as they presented a show that was dynamically diverse stylistically. That range of styles was clear both within their originals and a batch of covers that included the debut of The Weeknd’s “Can’t Feel My Face.”

SCI kicked off the festivities in front of a rabid crowd with keyboardist Kyle Hollingsworth leading the way on the funk-infused “Let’s Go Outside.” The band worked the jam into the aforementioned cover of Canadian singer The Weeknd’s recent No. 1 hit “Can’t Feel My Face” before heading back into the end of “Let’s Go Outside.” For those who remember the group’s early days, it’s still a bit jarring to see guitarist Bill Nershi strap on an electric guitar. Yet the plugged-in approach gave a Stones-esque feel to “Hotel Window,” which set the stage for a powerful set-closing sequence of “Piece of Mine,” “Black Clouds” and “Rosie.” The final two songs couldn’t be more different with “Black Clouds” steeped in bluegrass and “Rosie” as funky as SCI gets, but each garnered huge responses from the NYC faithful and showed off the impressive musicianship found within the six-piece.

The beginning of the second set found SCI focusing on classics and taking each song on lengthy improvisational journeys. Like many of their jam scene brethren, The String Cheese Incident seems to kick into an extra gear come second set. “Howard,” one of the more prog-infused originals in the Cheese songbook, was a particular highlight thanks to a democratic jam that featured stellar contributions from each member of the band. The swampy funk found within “Howard” was followed by the untz’d- out bluegrass of “Rivertrance.” Michael Kang ripped up an electrified solo on the former and then displayed his mesmerizing fiddle skills on the latter.

“Sweet Spot” gave the crowd a taste of SCI’s more recent compositions before it was back to the band’s classic sound on “Way Back Home.” Considering the sextet is at the their best when mixing genres within the same song, it’s no surprise Paul McCartney’s “Live And Let Die” has found a home in the Cheese repertoire. Macca’s tune combines arena rock, reggae and classical elements into one neat package, which SCI replicated to the delight of the audience on Saturday night. A euphoric “Colorado Bluebird Sky” second set closer and the 2015 debut of Johnny Cash’s “Ring Of Fire” as the sole encore put an exclamation mark on a fun night of live music in the Big Apple.

Setlist (via Friends Of Cheese)

Set One: Let’s Go Outside > Can’t Feel My Face > Let’s Go Outside, MLT, Give Me the Love, Hotel Window, Piece of Mine, Black Clouds, Rosie

Set Two: Texas, Howard, Rivertrance, Sweet Spot, Way Back Home, Live and Let Die, Colorado Bluebird Sky

Encore: Ring Of Fire