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Wednesday, March 16

Grateful Music is working our way through the first brackets of SCI’sMarch Madness Tour, read our reviews of the Oakland California shows bySam Berenson and Rob Frey below…

Grateful Music is working our way through the first brackets of SCI’s March Madness Tour, read our reviews of the Oakland California shows by Sam Berenson and Rob Frey below…
Night One: March 11th @ Fox Theater, Oakland, CA

Following a scorching opening show in Reno, NV on March 10th to kick off the String Cheese Incident’s March Madness Tour, the boys rolled into the Golden State welcomed by the love and admiration of their Bay area fans. Set one of the Oakland shows first night made it clear that the Reno show’s deep dig into the SCI musical catalog was a trend that would continue on this tour, much to the satisfaction of fans who love the “Song In My Head,” album but were happy to see the band deviate from the latest studio release on tour (some fans have expressed an opinion that the 2015 Summer Tour arguably featured tracks from this album too frequently). The first set resurrected studio classics from the ‘Round the Wheel, Untying the Not, and Outside and Inside albums mixed in with new crowd favorites BollyMunster and Sweet Spot in addition to the less common Don’t It Make You Wanna Dance. Following set break, things only heated up with a debut cover of Jimmy Cliff’s “The Harder They Come” featuring ALO’s Dan Lebowitz who also stuck around to contribute to a “Let’s Go Outside” before the band transitioned into Rollover, Black Clouds, Way Back Home and a much appreciated VOTJ. The Encore included the title track Outside and Inside and a cover of U2’s Mysterious Ways into a Way Back home reprise.

Night Two: March 12th @ Fox Theater, Oakland, CA

Night two of the Oakland shows was a special one for String Cheese family and friends who have been mourning the loss of one of their own, Evan Kimble, a much respected free spirit and inspirational writer who made many close friends in the process of attending shows and sharing his insightful reviews with the String Cheese community. Anyone who has a few String Cheese shows under their belt has likely heard one of Jack’s raps before, and this evening opened with the longtime friend of the band’s dedication of the first set to Evan Kimble aka Cosmic Love Freak. A video of the dedication can be viewed here, -- “Always keep the love alive.” The set that followed was no less spectacular than the individual it was dedicated to, featuring a 12 minute “Colliding” opener followed by a long awaited “Born On The Wrong Planet,” into K.C and The Sunshine Band’s instantly recognizable “Get Down Tonight” into “Can’t Stop Now.” At this point the setlist turned into pure gold as the band turned the dial up to 11 with “Windy Mountain,” into a rare “These Waves,” into “Djibouti Bump” followed by a “Round the Wheel” to finish off the set. Second set was full of favorites as well featuring “It Is What It Is”, “Stop Drop Roll”, “Rhythm of the Road”, “Rivertrance”, and a “Jellyfish” into “Sirens” into “Just One Story” close that made any fan on couch tour insanely jealous of the 2800 fans in attendance. A much loved “Barstool,” and “Don’t Let Go” encore finished off this amazing show that everyone is sure to be talking about as the tour continues on down the road to Santa Barbara and San Diego. If this show is any indicator, this tour has something special in store for fans in Southern California.

In attendance and authored by: Sam Berenson
Co-authored and edited by: Rob Frey