Tag Archives: The String Cheese Incident

String Cheese Incident at Stubb's BBQ Waller Creek Amphitheater Friday, November 1st and Saturday, November 2nd 2019

Jeremy and I try to get together a few times a year if we can. Often he comes up to my neck of the woods or I see him in Texas, usually Austin. I have been to Texas to see him several time but never actually to San Antonio where he lives. Searching for our next trip I found The String Cheese Incident was playing a three night run at Stubb’s BBQ Waller Creek Amphitheater over Halloween weekend for their 25th anniversary tour. They played three nights at Cuthbert Amphitheater in Eugene earlier in the tour but I was traveling that week and couldn’t make it. Because of my limited PTO I could only take a half day Friday and would have to miss the show on Halloween entirely.

I managed to find a direct flight from Portland to Austin which arrived a little before 7pm. It would be close but it was very possible we could make the start of the show. Doors opened at 6pm with the show starting at 7pm. Now they are always late so we had a little extra time baked in. Thankfully no issues with the flight but Jeremy ran into traffic on his way north. It was a Friday night and the USGP was the same weekend so everyone was heading into downtown. Once he picked me up we headed straight to the venue and parked. We almost walked in before realizing we didn’t pay the meter so that delayed us a little more.

Finally we arrived just after 8pm and the band was already on stage tearing it up. We debated how much we missed and by our calculations, at most 15 minutes. If we didn’t have to go back to the car to feed the meter we probably would have made it on time for the start of set one.

When Jeremy and I came to the inaugural event at the Circuit of the Americas I remember going to Stubb’s and seeing the stage in the back yard. It is a weird setup if you ask me. Right along Waller Creek and attached to the restaurant. If you get a dinner table you can walk right into a show because the bathrooms are in the basement and no one is watching the back door. The grounds are not very wide but long instead with plenty of beer and food vendors which was nice. Restrooms are all porta pots in the way back. Never used them but they seemed adequate for the size crowd. Also the VIP lounge is in the way back of the venue. Its elevated so you have good view of the stage but you are really far back. Gravel which sucks because there is no place to sit down during set breaks or before the show.

Friday was pretty amazing, even missing the first few songs. The entire show was great. The crowd was still a little hung over from the previous nights festivities so lots of people in partial customs which was cool to see. I gotta be honest, I spent half the show just watching the crowd or looking at the light show as it danced across the trees near the sound stage. The song selection was perfect. Good selection of songs and some really amazing jams. Even managed to throw in a few teases and covers post-Halloween which was cool. Another thing I would like to mention is the food. I got two BBQ sandwiches that night and both of them where pretty damn good. I got one shredded beef and one jalapeno brisket. Over priced for sure but still very good. After the long flight I missed lunch and this hit the spot.

After the show we walked back to the car and headed to the hotel which was only a few blocks away. I was really looking forward to walking Saturday and not having to deal with a car. A little after 11pm Jeremy had to run back to the car to feed the meter and I wanted to avoid that scenario Saturday.

Saturday and we didn’t have anything officially planned which was nice. Our first objective was food so we got some breakfast tacos from Tacodeli. I gotta tell you I was pretty disappointed with the tacos. The best one had black beans, bacon, avocado and a few other things. Sadly I thought Austin could have done better than this for tacos. Maybe its Portland that has made me jaded with all the amazing food we have here, including tacos.

After we headed down to the Colorado River to hang out. It was pretty chilly that day I must say. I thought it would have been warmer than home but surprisingly not. We hung out by the river till I wanted to smoke a cigar. We grabbed a few from the hotel and headed to Republic Square before getting kicked out. City park, can’t smoke, I get it. Thankfully they were some benches outside an office building so we just hung out there. Afterwards we grabbed food at Holy Roller a few blocks away. This was some amazing food and more than made up for the horrible breakfast tacos.

After our late lunch we headed back to the hotel to play several rounds of Magic the Gathering and watch qualifications. It was USGP weekend after all and while we could not be at the track, I wanted to participate even if just in a small way. I mostly got my ass kicked but it was a lot of fun. We had a TV right next to us which was perfect for catching up on qualifications.

We played Magic as long as we could before heading to Stubb’s to see the last night of String Cheese. Funny thing happened on our way out of the hotel. As we walked out the front door I saw Paul Di Resta standing outside with another gentleman who was on his phone. I was shocked and surprised. Here is a former F1 drive and current SkyF1 commentator standing outside my hotel. I immediately turned into a young school girl. All I could say was “Good luck tomorrow” and shock his hand. I didn’t get a picture or chat. I was just so shocked running into him I couldn’t think straight. Really was awesome running into him and honestly, it made the trip. So cool shacking his hand. Surprisingly tall with big hands. So cool.

We were less than 8 blocks away and we almost missed the start of the show that night as well. As we got through security and walked into the venue String Cheese took the stage and started saying hello to the crowd. It was only a few steps to the field and we posted up as they hit the first notes of the show. It was perfect timing even with running into Paul Di Resta.

The second night I think was a little better than the first night. The jam and song selection was more to my liking. One thing that was great both nights was the light show. For such a small venue the light show was really cool. The way the lights and colors play with the music was in perfect time. Being a smaller venue the lights also played off the surrounding environment.

After the show we had an appetite so we got some food on the way back to the hotel. We found a pretty good food truck village and Sabor Cubano caught my eye. It was the Cuban sandwich I saw and it really hit the spot along with some fried yuca. Jeremy got a grilled cheese and I finished my food by the time he got his. Not far from the venue it was the perfect late night spot after the show. Even though it was getting close to midnight the place was busy. All the vendors had hungry customers which was nice. You could tell lots of people out drinking that night. Having a good time grabbing a bite before heading home.

As soon as the trip started it seemed like it was over. Sunday I was flying back just as the USGP was about to get underway. We found a pretty damn amazing breakfast spot with Hillside Farmacy. We sat outside on the crisp morning and it was great. The food was absolutely amazing that morning. Fresh, local and well plated. It was not hard for either of us to finish out plates. Once the food arrived all conversation stopped which was another good sign. Our plates were licked clean that morning. So good.

I was home by early evening which was nice. Having a direct flight from Austin to Portland was ideal. The news that weekend was Hamilton possible clinching the title and he did it in fantastic fashion. I ready for another team and another drive but congratulations to Hamilton on his 2019 world championship victory which he secured in Austin. Originally we talked about attending the USGP but decided on Canada and I don’t regret that decision at all. Montreal was such a cool town and we still got to experience Austin during the race weekend which was really cool. Running in to Paul Di Resta was certainly the highlight with two nights of Cheese a close second.

String Cheese Incident
Friday, November 1st 2019
Stubb’s BBQ Waller Creek Amphitheater – Austin, TX

We arrived late. Got to the venue at 8:05pm and they were all ready playing.

  1. One Step Closer
  2. Born on the Wrong Planet >
  3. Can’t Wait Another Day >
  4. The Woods
  5. Water
  6. It Is What It Is >
  7. Can’t Stop Now
    9:05pm set over

Set 2 starts 9:44pm

  1. On the Road >
  2. 2001 >
  3. On The Road >
  4. Well You Needn’t^ >
  5. Black and White >
  6. Groove Is In The Heart >
  7. Black And White >
  8. Late in the Evening >
  9. Full Band Percussion >
  10. Late in the Evening
  11. Until the Music’s Over
  12. Into the Blue >
  13. Jellyfish >
  14. Rosie
    Set over at 11:16pm

Encore starts at 11:19pm

  1. Don’t Let Go
    House lights at 11:30pm

^ Thelonius Monk cover (last time played: Nov 03, 2001 11-03-01 Lexington, VA I was at this show)

String Cheese Incident
Saturday, November 2nd 2019
Stubb’s BBQ Waller Creek Amphitheater – Austin, TX

Set 1 starts at 7:45pm

  1. Black Clouds
  2. Got What He Wanted >
  3. Search >
  4. Falling Through The Cracks
  5. Pack It Up,
  6. Texas >
  7. Tinder Box
    Set over at 9:06pm

Set two starts at 9:36pm

  1. All We Got
  2. Cedar Laurels >
  3. So Far From Home
  4. Midnight Moonlight
  5. Hi Ho No Show
  6. Vertigo >
  7. Rollover
    Set over at 10:56pm

Encore starts at 11:02

  1. Deal^
    Encore 1 ends at 11:13pm

Second encore starts at 11:15pm

  1. I Saw the Light^
    House lights at 11:21pm

^ with Ross James on Guitar, Nicki Bluhm on Vocals, Scott Law on Guitar

Two Nights of String Cheese Incident Cuthbert Amphitheater July 2018

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.

An interesting venue and a great couple of nights outside.

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.

Day 1

String Cheese Incident Saturday, July 7th 2018
Cuthbert Amphitheater – Eugene, OR

Set 1 starts at 7:35pm

  1. Dudley’s Kitchen
  2. Close Your Eyes >
  3. So Far From Home >
  4. Ophelia
  5. Freedom Jazz Dance
  6. Late in the Evening* >
  7. drums* >
  8. Just One Story
    Set over at 8:45pm

Set 2 starts at 9:22pm

  1. Sweet Spot
  2. The Big Reveal >
  3. Mrs. Browns Teahouse
  4. Stay Through >
  5. Jellyfish >
  6. Willin’ >
  7. Jellyfish >
  8. Lands End >
  9. Glory Chords
  10. Colliding
    Set over at 10:53pm
    Encore starts at 10:54pm
  11. 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.

Day 2

String Cheese Incident Sunday, July 8th 2018
Cuthbert Amphitheater – Eugene, OR

Set 1 starts at 7:04pm

  1. Can’t Stop Now
  2. Search >
  3. Could You Be Loved
  4. Falling Through the Cracks
  5. MLT*
  6. Water >
  7. Dirk
    Set over at 8:19pm

Set 2 starts at 8:54pm

  1. Believe >
  2. Song in My Head
  3. Valley of the Jib
  4. Hotel Window
  5. You Wreck Me^
  6. This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) >
  7. Heads Up jam >
  8. Texas
    Set over at 10:22pm
  9. Can’t Wait Another Day

* with Jeff Pevar on guitar
^ with John Kadelicik on guitar

NYE 2016 in Denver

Things have been a different this year around the holidays.  Lots of changes are happening so while I was driving to the beach for a 5 day mini vacation, stuck in traffic, I got a crazy idea in my head.  I have wanted to go to Denver for a while now, I had the time, and my bonus was burning a hole in my pocket.  It took me just over 5 hours but I finally made it to Rehoboth Beach and started doing research.  I knew it would take me two solid days of driving to get there and another two getting back.  I could arrive late on Friday and spend all Saturday in Denver.  A quick check of local NYE shows and I found that The String Cheese Incident was playing the 1st Bank Center in Broomfield.  String Cheese doesn’t tour much so this would be a good opportunity to see them and besides this is a hometown show for them.

Thursday morning I started this adventure by watching the sunrise on the beach.  It was overcast with a lite drizzle but I managed to see parts of the sun as it broke the horizon.  From here it was nothing but driving across the country.  The weather on the east coast wasn’t to great.  I drove through snow, rain and fog for about half the day.  I made a reservation for a hotel in St. Louis and didn’t make it there till around midnight.  One day done and my old bones where already starting to feel it.

Just get on the road and drive.

The next morning started early, I was out the door around 7am.  I knew this last part of the trip would take me a solid 12 hours and I wanted to spend at least some time that night having some fun.  On the outskirts of St. Louis another idea started to take shape.  I would have been perfectly happy going to Denver on my own but instead I brought Nancy and Jeremy with me.  It was a busy morning making a lot of phone calls and booking travel but totally worth it.  This was shaping up to be a pretty awesome last minute adventure for New Year Eve.

I drove all day and watched the sun set across Kansas which was really nice.  Finally I made it to Denver and when you come in on 70W you round this slight hill and then the city just appears in front of you.  It is this massive city with suburbs that go for miles.  Honestly I was shocked at how big Denver is.  On Saturday as we drove around I got a better idea just how big it is.  By the time I got into town Nancy had already landed and made her way to the hotel to check in.  I didn’t arrive till almost nine but it felt good to finally be in Denver.  Jeremy was on a later flight so Nancy and I head to True Food Kitchen just down the street for dinner.  After crap food for two days I wanted something super health and True Food Kitchen delivered.  They also had beer so it was my first sample of beer from Colorado.  Eventually Nancy and I retired to the hotel bar for another drink and this is when Jeremy arrived.  He worked a full day and then hopped on a plain so didn’t get in till almost 11.

Saturday, New Years Eve.  We all had tickets to SCI but we had a ton of time to kill before the show started.  We started with breakfast on the top floor which over looked the front range.  When I came into town it was already dark so this was my first sight of the mountains.  Denver is already a mile high and I knew the mountains where much taller still.  The mountains stretched for as far as the eye could see.  Denver is still a good distance away but they still looked impressive.  At breakfast we strategized what our plan would be for the day.  It really came down to what brewery we could find that was open at 10am.

All day we traveled across the city visiting as many breweries as we could.  By the end of the day we hit four in all and one restaurant that served some really good food and had a ton of local craft beer on draft.  First up was CO Brew which we thought we got wrong when we pulled up.  It is a home brew retail store and not a brewery per say.  We found they do in fact brew beer on premise, they teach glasses on home brewing so make a tone of beer.  Very interesting place to have our first beer of the morning.  As cool as everything was it didn’t inspire me to start home brewing.

On the recommendation of the bartender we went to Black Sky Brewing next.  This spot is certainly geared toward metal and hard rock.  My first impression was that this place would be an interesting stop on our trail, just a minor speed bump.  Of all the places this was the one I liked best.  The beer was good but it was the people that made it so enjoyable.  Not only was the staff very friendly but the other patrons really made it a fun time doing a little day drinking.

Black Sky sent us to Strange Craft down by the river.  This is a small hole in the wall but it had character.  Here the beer was very good with a wide variety to choose from.  We got to talking and the guys from Black Sky actually got their start at Strange Craft doing a home brew startup thing.  Small world when you think about it.  By this time we all where pretty hungry and headed over to Tap and Burger Sloan’s Lake for some food.  The burgers where all really good and the selection of local craft was amazing.  Very nice decor on the inside with huge ceilings and plenty of space for guests.  The building is brand new but the neighborhood could still use some work.

By now it was getting pretty late in the afternoon so we headed back to the hotel to rally for String Cheese.  I really wanted to take a nap because day drinking really wears me out but there was no time for that.  We got an Uber and headed to one last brewery before the show.  The last place we went to was 4 Noses Brewing just a couple blocks from the venue.  It was a nice place so close but honestly I didn’t care for the place.  The brewery is brand new and modern but it lacked character.  I also thought the beer all tasted pretty much the same.  It didn’t matter what style you got, they all had this underlying orange citrus taste to them.  They even all looked similar.  As much as I wanted to like the place I just couldn’t bring myself to find anything good about it.

Doors for the show were at 7 with the performance starting at 8.  It was all general admission so we didn’t feel a need to arrive early and grab a spot.  I was just happy to be there. I unfortunately could only manage the first set before I had enough.  The long day of drinking and two days of straight driving was catching up with me.  Nancy and I decided to head back to the hotel and Jeremy stayed for the remainder of the show.  The report the next morning from Jeremy was good and I have listened to the show several times at this point.

As soon as my head hit the pillow it felt like it was time to get up and get going.  I dropped Jeremy and Nancy off at the airport and started back home to Virginia.  Getting back was just as interesting crossing the country but not much inclement weather this time.  Just like going out to Denver I stopped in St. Louise for the night.  I got home before midnight on Monday which was my goal and got to work the next morning right on time.

Not sure if I will drive that far again anytime soon but it was a great trip further west then I had ever been before.  Seeing String Cheese Incident, even if it was just for one set during a three set night was still worth it.  I was able to cross several more breweries off my list.  Honestly there wasn’t a bad part about the trip.  Already thinking about seeing Medeski, Martina and Wood at Red Rocks in late April just so I can spend more time in Denver.