A Sunday night performance by The String Cheese Incident is one of those things you do not want to miss, and last night’s final show of Electric Forest was no exception.
After an impassioned set by Michigan’s finest Greensky Bluegrass, the boys got back to their roots with a grassier set than was heard the rest of the weekend, but still left plenty of room for some funky covers and two more brand new originals.
After a quick rain in the morning it was time to get the mud churning with “Miss Brown’s Teahouse” to open the first set. The next sequence of “These Waves > Djbouti Bump > Sometimes A River” had the Cheese faithful really feeling it, before it was time to pull some tricks out of their never ending sleeves. Fans were treated to a small tasting of “Green Cheese” when the band invited out Greensky Bluegrass for a rocking cover of JJ Cale’s “Call Me the Breeze” before yet another Prince staple, “When Doves Cry”. The set ended on a fresh note as SCI debuted two new original tracks, the Bill Nershi ballad “Down A River” and a funky fiddling rager called “Hi Ho No Show.” In the style of Cheese favorites “Bollymunster” and “Cedar Laurels”, the latter has potential to become a quick hit with the ever-evolving SCI fan base.
Drummer Michael Travis came out shortly before the second set and explained SCI’s mission for Electric Forest to the crowd: to unify the two “amazing psychedelic cultures” of EDM fans and Cheese’s hula-hooping hippies by bringing them together in the spirit of the Forest. The set then appropriately started with “You’ve Got the World”, a celebratory anthem that got everyone up in the air together. The boys then really got into their element, filling the rest of the set with quintessential Cheese songs such as “Way Back Home” followed by “Desert Dawn”, and then “Bumpin’ Reel”, which featured the surprising help of keyboardist Joel Cummins from Umphrey’s McGee, who wasn’t even playing at the festival. “Looking Glass” was breathtakingly nostalgic, leading into a triumphant “Rollover > Restless Wind” combo that saw Greensky’s Anders Beck returning to the stage with his signature Dobro twang. Beck came back out with the band for a glorious encore of “I Know You Rider” and just like that, another magical year of Electric Forest is in the books.
Next up, The String Cheese Incident will head down south for a long awaited return to Asheville and Atlanta over July Fourth Weekend. The band is ready for “some of that great East Coast rowdy energy,” as Kyle Hollingsworth told The Poke Around in a recent interview. The multi-city events have been dubbed as the Independence Incidents, taking place in our own backyard of Asheville on July 1st and 2nd followed by Atlanta on the 3rd and 4th.
6/26/16: Electric Forest – Rothbury, MI
Set 1: Miss Brown’s Teahouse, These Waves > Djbouti Bump > Sometimes A River, Call Me the Breeze*, When Doves Cry*, Down a River, Close Your Eyes, Hi Ho No Show
Set 2: You’ve Got the World, Way Back Home, Desert Dawn > Bumpin’ Reel^, Looking Glass > Rollover > Restless Wind#
Encore: I Know You Rider#
Written by Richard Oakley