The String Cheese Incident Welcomes Andy Hall & Chris Pandolfi In Denver

The String Cheese Incident kicked off a three-concert holiday run at Denver’s Mission Ballroom in their home state of Colorado on Wednesday. SCI welcomed The Infamous Stringdusters’ banjoist Chris Pandolfi and dobro player Andy Hall for most of the show.

Cheese, Hall and Pandolfi got the bluegrass heavy, acoustic leaning concert — including keyboardist Kyle Hollingsworth on a grand piano — underway with “Colorado Bluebird Sky” penned by guitarist Bill Nershi. The first set continued with SCI’s “Up The Canyon” followed by a bust out of New Riders of the Purple Sage’s “Glendale Train,” last time played on January 19, 2015 which was the Cheese debut of the NRPS number.

The Kyle Hollingsworth composed classic “MLT” came next followed by the SCI debuts of the Memphis Jug Band classic “Stealin’” as well as the Shorty Medlocke-penned, Blackfoot-recorded “Train Train,” which saw lead vocals from Andy Hall. Dolly Parton also record the song and bassist pointed out that Andy played with Dolly in a humorous bit of banter.

The Joe Zawinul-written Weather Report jazz instrumental “Birdland” then headed into Herb Remington’s “Remington Ride” before the band returned to “Birdland.” Multi-instrumentalist Michael Kang then led the group through “Bollymunster” on fiddle. The biggest bust out of the evening time-wise came in the form of the Hollingsworth-composed rarity “Elijah,” which was last played on March 11, 2004 and appears on Cheese’s 2003 LP, Untying The Not. The band then segued into Talking Heads’ “This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)” and Townes Van Zandt’s “White Freightliner Blues” to close out the first set.

SCI would take the stage sans Hall and Pandolfi to begin the second set with Kang’s “Rollover” ahead of Nershi’s “The Road Home.” Andy and Chris then rejoined the band for “Missin’ Me” which contained a “Mission Jam” and headed into the Bill Emerson bluegrass standard “Home Of The Red Fox,” the latter being an SCI debut. Cheese then dusted off Don Reno’s “Long Gone,” for the first time since March 8, 2017.

Next, Kyle’s “Close Your Eyes” segued into a grassy version of the Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers classic “American Girl,’ an SCI debut, sung by Hall and featuring fiddle from Kang. Andy and the Stringdusters included “American Girl” on their 2015 EP, Undercover. A pairing of the Cheese classic “Jellyfish” and the traditional “I Know You Rider” brought the second set to a close. SCI, Hall and Pandolfi returned to encore with Paul Simon’s “Under African Skies” and “Lonesome Fiddle Blues.” The String Cheese Incident resumes their Denver run tonight. Head here for livestream info.

Watch fan-shot video from SCI’s three-night Mission opener below:

Setlist (via SCI Facebook)

Set One: Colorado Bluebird Sky, Up the Canyon, Glendale Train, MLT, Stealin’, Train Train, Birdland > Remington Ride > Birdland, BollyMunster, Elijah > This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) > White Freightliner

Set Two: Rollover, The Road Home, Missin’ Me > Mission Jam > Home of the Red Fox, Long Gone, Close Your Eyes, American Girl, Jellyfish > I Know You Rider

Encore: Under African Skies > Lonesome Fiddle Blues