The String Cheese Incident celebrated New Year’s Eve on Friday with the second of three concerts at Auditorium Theatre in Chicago. SCI debuted a new original and also covered Umphrey’s McGee for NYE in the Windy City.
Cheese opened up the show with the classic “Search” which contains one of the band’s most familiar melody lines done in harmony by guitarist Bill Nershi and mandolinist Michael Kang. The bouncy jam also featured a fiddle solo from Kang as well as a percussion breakdown led by Michael Travis and Jason Hann. Cheese kept up the vintage numbers with “Born On The Wrong Planet,” the title track to the band’s 1997 debut album. A cover of Bob Marley’s “Could You Be Loved” came next before bassist Keith Moseley led the band through “Sweet Spot.” SCI returned to classic material with the harrowing tale of “Texas” which headed into the bluegrass standard “Blackberry Blossom” ahead of a return to “Texas” to close out the first frame.
“Shantytown” launched a three-song seamless section to open the second set which also included “Whole” and Billy’s “Black Clouds.” SCI then unveiled a new tune, “Short Shack Willie,” before keyboardist Kyle Hollingsworth led the band through “Way That It Goes.” Next, Cheese sparked up “Tinderbox” followed by Keith presiding over “Joyful Sound,” which segued into the relatively new number, “The Big Reveal,” debuted in 2018, to close out the second set.
Set three commenced with another song debuted in 2018, Billy Nershi’s “Vertigo.” The classic “Way Back Home” then encompassed a cover of Umphrey’s McGee’s “Glory” in a nod to the Midwestern band. More vintage Cheese in “Dudley’s Kitchen” capped off the seamless section. Michael Kang’s “Rollover” fittingly ushered in the New Year, done in grand SCI style with aerial dancers and more. The stellar Talking Heads tune “Nothing But Flowers” then gave way to “Rivertrance” to close out the third set. The String Cheese Incident returned to encore with “Good Times Around The Bend.”
Watch pro-shot video of “Search” along with fan-shot video of “Rollover,” “Rivertrance” and “Good Times Around The Bend” via whereshaynes below:
Setlist (via Friends of Cheese)
Set One: Search, Born on the Wrong Planet, Could You Be Loved, Sweet Spot, Texas > Blackberry Blossom > Texas
Set Two: Shantytown > Whole > Black Clouds, Short Shack Willie, Way That it Goes, Tinderbox, Joyful Sound > Big Reveal
Set Three: Vertigo, Way Back Home > Glory > Way Back Home > Dudley’s Kitchen, Rollover> Happy New Year > Rollover, Nothing But Flowers > Rivertrance
Encore: Good Times Around the Bend
1 First time played, SCI Original
2 Umphrey’s McGee cover