The String Cheese Incident Brings The Faithful To Red Rocks

​Words can’t describe what it means to see your favorite band. Words can’t describe what it means to see your favorite band at your favorite venue, but The String Cheese Incident (SCI) at Red Rocks Amphitheatre  in Colorado is exactly what this means to me. It has become a yearly pilgrimage for myself to embark on. Much like a vacation it truly is just that and some sort of spiritual experience. Going to a place with so much history, beauty, and a family reunion of every meaning of the word and feeling. It’s impossible to not walk up and down the rows and not know someone in one, and 78 shows later this feeling never gets old. 

The Audience At Red Rocks For The String Cheese Incident

The Audience At Red Rocks For The String Cheese Incident

String Cheese curates a Colorado weekend full of fun with a family vibe and hometown shows of theirs. A band that can take every genre of music and combine them into one beautiful sound so unique to themselves. Colorado has become so special to me over the last few years and SCI and Red Rocks are a huge reason why, and some of the most important things in my life. The band’s new Sound Lab full of new songs and material they have been working on is a favorite of mine over the last few years. Allowing the band to experiment and work out new songs with some special friends from all over. 

Night 1 featured the amazing JJ Grey and Mofro as the opening act who brought their southern vibe and soul to the Rocky Mountains. A beautiful transition into SCI’s opening sets of the weekend brought out David Satori of Beats Antique followed by Lyle Divinsky of The Motet for back to back jams of their new “Sound Lab” material.  Grey later came back for a brilliant version of “Hey Pocky Way” a fun song to end an already great night for a funky ending. Having SCI and Grey back to back was such a great show being two of my favorite artists on the same bill and so different. 

SCI had a very unique Saturday setlist full of very strange and all over the place jams showing off the bands range in genres but also their jamming and taking risks in their music. A beautiful night with an even better sunset set the mood after the always spectacular The Main Squeeze took the rocks with an energetic show full of funk and a dance party. SCI brought out Ruby Chase for their newest song,“Otherside”a collab with a relatively unknown EDM artist which was first discovered at Electric Forest a few weeks ago. SCI brought back Ruby and some of The Main Squeeze for a raging version of Led Zeppelin’s“Kashmir”featuring all three artists trading off verses and solos; a simply electric ending to the night at Red Rocks. 

The String Cheese Incident Performs at Red Rocks

Sunday is always an extra meaning to Church at Red Rocks, atop the mountain and aura was a day full of sunshine, rain, rainbows and music; Bluegrass Sunday! A day to end the weekend with a high note began with Rising Appalachia with a very mellow and peaceful acoustic vibe to take everyone into the final main event of SCI. Like all Sunday shows it started with the band taking to their acoustic instruments for a mini bluegrass set to start. This set was my favorite of the weekend and one of my favorites I’ve ever seen from Cheese; great song selection, placement, hitting their range and musical influences at every level, and just playing so good also. It was something of magic to say the least. They ended the weekend with one of my favorite encores I’ve heard them do, an old traditional sing-a-long gospel bluegrass set of“I’ll Fly Away.” And boy did I fly away after hearing this and such a blissful weekend of reflection. 

It really is hard to say what this band, this place, and this community mean to me. Something of a save haven, a peaceful retreat, full freedom and acceptance, and just a feeling of love and the best feeling. If you have not seen SCI then you should, and if you have not been to Red Rocks you should. Whatever your favorite band or place is, go to it and do it. It will make you feel better then you have or could know, and every time you return will be that same moment in time!

All Hail The String Cheese Incident's 3 Night Run at Red Rocks

All Hail The String Cheese Incident's 3 Night Run at Red Rocks - For It Was High Church for the Faithful

Enjoy the following photos by our photographer Brady Cooling of Brady Cooling Photography

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About the author
Brady Cooling

Brady Cooling

Brady Wayne Cooling can be found up and down the North East behind the lens of his camera. You can find Brady in concert pits at festival's and concerts near and far - big and small - all year long. Brady is a proud DMV resident hailing from Frederick, MD and in between concerts lives in Ocean City, MD.