There’s Suwannee, home of Hulaween, and there’s Sherwood Forest, home of Electric Forest. There’s Dillon, there’s Stubb’s, and of course there’s Red Rocks. These famed venues have all become special grounds for The String Cheese Incident and their fans, with the band delivering standout shows at each of them year after year. By now, we should be getting close to adding The Capitol Theatre to the list.
Since 2014, The String Cheese Incident has had a number of multi-night runs at the legendary Port Chester rock palace, and they’ve rocked them all. We don’t even really need to explain how wonderful the band’s 2017 New Years Eve run here was. This past weekend, Cheese continued this tradition of strong shows at The Cap, performing there from Saturday May 25 to Monday May 27. Each night was an energetic, excitable display from the band, starting with Saturday’s dance rock/jamtronic heavy show and ending with Monday’s more classic feel. Midway through the run, at the top of night two, the band brought Capitol Theatre owner Pete Shapiro out on stage to commend making the whole shebang possible. The Poke Around caught this last and final night at the venue, and has the photos to prove it.
After some warm up aerobics with the “You’ve Got The World” opener and a “Sweet Spot” to follow, “Little Hands” was where the old school kind of fun started. Beyond’s the tune’s anticipated string-breakdown ending, Kang led the band on a slower, and more melodic, bluegrass style exit jam that eventually picked itself up nicely into “Don’t It Make You Wanna Dance.” “Beautiful,” a newer one of Kang’s in the pile, has been coming into its own over the past few years and slowly winning even the more veteran fans over. Night three’s version here power-rocked into an impressive and invigorating jam, and hoisted up the energy to a nice level.
String Cheese brought up modern blues jam presario Scott Sherrard up to join for the set-ending combo of “Outside and Inside” and “Hot Lanta.” Sherrard and Cheese have collaborated on stage a few times now, such as at Peach Fest as Nershi noted, and by now the guitarist fits into the group without a misstep. Hot Lanta was fun enough, but Sherrard took a raging solo on “Outside and Inside” that sat at the top of the whole set.
Of course, at the apex of the night and the entire weekend, there was the unexpected unplugged performance to preface set two, which saw an acoustic String Cheese Incident surround themselves by The Cap’s some 1,500 fans in attendance. While this could sound gimmick-y on paper, for those there in the moment it was as magical as fans have been claiming. A quick “Dark Hollow,” but the Cheese members were hollering with fun, and the closest ones in the crowd could be heard singing along softly on the last couple of choruses.
What could be the follow up to something like that except for a grand, inspiring offer of “Into The Blue” to kick off the electric rest of the night. This is another one from Kang, a brand-new one debuted at New Years Eve 2018, and with lyrics of such emotional beauty, and a mystically empowering stretch of spacey-grassy rock improv from the band, there’s a reason Cheese fans have fallen in love with this one fast.
Cheese delivered all the way through the final set, with a steady, patient-driven Best Feeling that wound its way smoothly through a version of The Police’s “Standing On The Moon,” and then a throwback “Texas” to end it all. In terms of encores, night one probably wins, but “Shakin’ The Tree” is another often-chased gem, and a beautiful choice to put on a unique and memorable show like this one.