String Cheese Incident doesn’t tour nearly as much as they use to. In fact they took a break for a couple of years before getting back together and hitting the road on a limited basis. Now they do way more festivals and multi-day stints in cities instead of being on the road for months at a time hitting a bunch of different cities. When it was announced that they would be playing two nights at the Cuthbert Amphitheater in Eugene I had to get tickets. It has been a minute since I last saw them for NYE in Denver and I wanted to check them out again on the west coast.
My plan was to pack as much crap into two days as I could and be back to work on Monday. I started with a hike to Silver Falls State Park. I saw a picture of this park on my computers login screen and I needed to see this place in person. A great hike and an awesome time. I actually timed things pretty well that day. Checked into the hotel, took a nap for a while and then I was off to see the show. It was so awesome having the ability to just walk to the venue and not worry about a car.
The venue is an interesting one. A small outdoor amp hither it has its charms. First the stage faces the sun so as an audience we get shade cover long before the band. There is no back to the venue either, just the forest behind. This comes into play at night when the sun goes down and the lights can project onto the trees. Adds an interesting element to the standard light show. On the upper ring of the lawn you can have low back chairs. Then there is your standard blanket lawn and the seats. Classic ballpark stiff, narrow and pretty uncomfortable seats.
The show was not sold out but as the night went on the place got pretty packed. It was a total general admission which was really cool. First night I spent it pretty close stage right in the seats. This is why I know they are so uncomfortable. The show this night and the next were both kick ass performances. In fact I thought both shows where better then the recent Dead & Co. show I saw and dare I say it, each individual night of SCI was better too. Just such a great time jamming out with the band and the crowd. It was such a good vibe both nights. During the second night’s performance I spent most of set two lounging on the lawn. There where so many kids running around and babies too. Lots of babies. I never remember it being so family friendly but as time has gone on, just like Phish shows, the fans got older and are bringing their kids.
After the first night I was hungry for food. I didn’t get anything before the show because I was napping and during I just didn’t see any vendor that interested me. For a somewhat large city it has limited options open late. I was disappointed I couldn’t walk to something. On a Saturday night everything was closed by 11pm, right when the show ended. Every time I am in a smaller city I always run into this problem. You would think by now I would be use to it.
Sunday I checked out of the hotel and started my day of adventure. Home was only 2 hours away so I told myself I could tough it out and make it home after the show. Saturday started late and Sunday they would start on time. With a curfew of 11pm I figured I had a good chance of seeing the entire show and still making it home at a reasonable hour.
I mostly walked around the city trying to find cool stuff. Sunday was a pretty quite day I most say. Downtown is not that big with these dispersed shopping streets. I did manage to find the Oregon Art Supply and a cool vinyl shop House of Records. I found Miles Davis In a Silent Way here and was super excited about it. One of my favorite all time records. Unfortunately side two is all fucked up so that is disappointing but side A is where its at. I found out later it could be the entire re-issue that is screwed for side B so that’s awesome.
One thing I didn’t do was find a brewery. The entire weekend was hot and I just didn’t have it in me to sit and drink beer. Closest I got was Bill & Tim’s BBQ for lunch where I had a beer. Honestly the BBQ was ok at best. It didn’t really have a smokey flavor I was looking for. Neither the brisket or pork. The sauce was also kinda weak and the meat was dry. They certainly cooked it a day or two before and then served it. Sides were good but overall, pretty disappointing.
I actually had a hard time finding things to do in downtown, it was just dead. I eventually gave up and headed to the venue not long before doors opened. I grabbed my chair and found a nice spot in the shade to relax. By relax I mean take a nap. It was so hot and I had already walked several miles, I needed the break. Plus I knew I wouldn’t make it through the show and then 2 hours driving that night without a nap.
Honestly another banging set from String Cheese Incident on Sunday. It was again filled with some killer jams and just these rolling beats that I love. The light show was great and the weather wasn’t to bad. Certainly after the sun set things really heated up. This time I spent the first set on the left and then during set break moved to the lawn. I was just ready to lounge out and listen to some killer music. Another kick ass show, really good.
I kept watching the time but eventually I left the show early. When the set was over I started making my way to my car. I wanted to beat the crowds out and start my long drive home. Earlier I had picked up a few donuts from Voodoo Doughnuts for a sugar rush and some iced coffee. Thankfully the drive home was uneventful and I made it without issue. I think I got home around 12:30 or 1am. Went right back to bed and was up early the next morning for work. I would have stayed a second night if only I had the PTO.
It was really awesome seeing SCI for two nights in Eugene. There is just something about seeing bands on the west coast. Phish and SCI both seam to have a different vibe out this way and I love it. The town could have been a little better but next time I will venture out from the downtown area. I have a feeling there is more to see, you just have to travel to it.
String Cheese Incident Saturday, July 7th 2018
Cuthbert Amphitheater – Eugene, OR
Set 1 starts at 7:35pm
- Dudley’s Kitchen
- Close Your Eyes >
- So Far From Home >
- Freedom Jazz Dance
- Late in the Evening* >
- drums* >
- Just One Story
Set over at 8:45pm
Set 2 starts at 9:22pm
- Sweet Spot
- The Big Reveal >
- Mrs. Browns Teahouse
- Stay Through >
- Jellyfish >
- Willin’ >
- Jellyfish >
- Lands End >
- Glory Chords
Set over at 10:53pm
Encore starts at 10:54pm
- Quine the Eskimo*
House lights at 11:00pm
* with Jarrod Kaplan on percussion
11:02pm come out to tell us to go away and go home. I believe there is a curfew at 11pm because of the park.
String Cheese Incident Sunday, July 8th 2018
Cuthbert Amphitheater – Eugene, OR
Set 1 starts at 7:04pm
- Can’t Stop Now
- Search >
- Could You Be Loved
- Falling Through the Cracks
- Water >
Set over at 8:19pm
Set 2 starts at 8:54pm
- Believe >
- Song in My Head
- Valley of the Jib
- Hotel Window
- You Wreck Me^
- This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) >
- Heads Up jam >
Set over at 10:22pm
- Can’t Wait Another Day
* with Jeff Pevar on guitar
^ with John Kadelicik on guitar