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Thursday, March 24

SCI does Santa Barbara and San Diego - Reviews

 3/13/16 Santa Barbara, CA

The Barefoot Boys kept the rhythm on the road, and came into Southern California clicking as a band in a manner not heard since the hiatus.   Following the first three  intimate shows to open The String Cheese Incident’s March Madness Tour, the band rolled down to Santa Barbara on their new eco friendly tour bus. 
As promised prior to tour, the band continued to dig deep in their song catalogue. This was the fourth show and still no repeats.  The band opened up the night with “Search”, led by Bill Nershi off of the 2001 album Outside Inside. They kept it old school, delivering inspired takes on “Missin Me”, “Dudley’s Kitchen”, and a “This Must Be The Place” (Talking Heads cover), before the band wrapped up the set with two monster jams. 
 The boy's took an extended break which gave everyone time to pick up their jaws and explore the majestic venue. The second set exploded with an extended "Howard"
followed by fan favorites “Ms. Brown’s Teahouse”, the rare appearance of “45th of November”, and a blissful take on Peter Rowen's “Sweet Melinda”. Set two ended with the tour’s first “Shine” and “Rosie”. Needless to say, the second set was a sweaty affair. The intimate venue was literally shaking from all the dances of approval. The band would end the evening by inviting out ALO member, Zach Gill. Together they squeezed more energy from the elated crowd with a scorching cover of Bob Dylan’s “Quinn the Eskimo”. Tomorrow everybody will get a much deserved day off. The title did not mislead this has been madness. 

3/15/16 San Diego, CA Night 1       

 After a full day of rest that included exploring the beach and breweries. S.C.I kicked off Night 1 of their San Diego two-night stand with the high-speed bluegrass classic “Lonesome Fiddle Blues”. Keith “Moose” Moseley proclaimed that the band wanted to “continue digging deep into the songbook”, with a much needed “Lost”, sandwiched around the return of ”Will It Go Round In Circles”, which really set the tone for the run. No song was off the table and the band was firing on all cylinders . The crowd got rowdyduring an adventurous version of “So Far From Home”. The crowd was thankful for the air-conditioning vents positioned perfectly.  A well placed delicate “Little Hands”  kept everyone on their feet with an extended break down. The set ended with the first repeat of tour, “Colorado Bluebird Sky”.
   The second stanza took off with a dark and deep "Come as You Are". The rollercoaster jams rolled into a mystical “Under African Skies". What took place next is why we chase this band a half hour “Birdland” that perfectly bled into  “Texas” had people speechless. Encoring “Let’s Go Outside”, was a perfect ending to a beautiful Southern California Night.

3/16/16 San Diego, CA Night 2

The vibe was special in San Diego, The band was well aware of it as they walked onto the stage to kick off Night 2, Billy Nershi was jumping up and down before even setting hands on his guitar for the first time that evening. The band opened up with a “Best Feeling”, setting the mood for a perfect night. The band immediately went into a larger than life cover of “I Know You Rider” lighting the building on fire. Two songs in and the band already owned the crowd.  “Sometimes A River” popped up for the second time this tour, continuing the epic set. Next SCI sandwiched “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gee’s in between “Way That It Goes”, for only the second time.  Set one ended with a remarkable take on the classic “Round the Wheel”, full of much deeper emotion and passion than the first time played this tour in Oakland. As everyone was “waiting for the snow to fall”, Set two kicked off with a high-energy, Kyle original “Dirk” that set the crowd ablaze. Just in time for the theatrics as  balloons starting to appear throughout the entire audience. Placing a smile on every face in the building. A lengthy “Give Me the Love” and “Valley of the Jig” were followed by an extended version of “Age”. A new song which made its debut earlier on tour and has potential. In Cheesey-fashion, the band closed out the second set with the Tim O’Brien classic “Land’s End”, and the fan-favorite “Restless Wind”. It being my favorite show of the tour already, the icing that followed was unreal. The band encored The Rolling Stone’s “Sympathy For The Devil”, ending the 2 Night stand with the entire crowd singing was fitting a end to a magestic evening. 

 Words: Sam Berenson
Photos: Mike Geller

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