Review: The String Cheese Incident at 1STBANK Center, with the Flaming Lips, 12/29/13

Categories: Concert Reviews

Brandon Marshall

A true switch-up in the pace of the music and dynamics of the String Cheese Incident set came four songs into the set when the band called Steven Drozd and Wayne Coyne of the Flaming Lips to the stage for a cover of "Okie from Muskogee." This rendition of the Merle Haggard classic was charmingly off the cuff but also spot on with the spirit of a song many of us heard over the years; it was humorous and earnestly performed with reverence.

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Brandon Marshall

Much of the rest of String Cheese's set had the flavor of a jazz and blues improv session, recalling an Allman Brothers live jam, only far more smoothed out. The opening cut, "BollyMunster," shifted from Middle Eastern tones and rhythms to a funky electronica piece, with strong, tribal rhythms. At other times, a hard funk informed the accents of the melody, like a call and response structure but between instruments, rather than vocals.

Brandon Marshall

A calypso jazz feel also characterized a good deal of the music and there was a curiously even tempo throughout the show. There were no discernible builds and no dramatic tension. Where the dynamics of this band happened, interestingly enough, it was carried out within the textures and tones at play together between the musicians in a steady flow rather than in the structure of the songs. This allowed for the members of SCI to engage with each other more spontaneously in a way that was somehow chill and smooth while supporting intricate sonic detail.

Brandon Marshall

The Flaming Lips opened the show with Coyne standing on a heap of fiber optic cables as they glittered with flowing, colored light. Largely pulling from The Soft Bulletin, Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots, Embryonic and The Terror, the Lips played the kind of show it often does in smaller spaces but it was balanced against the reality of the size of this venue, and the set ended up being somewhat intimate in spite of itself. "Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds" got a moody treatment without losing the sparkling energy of the song, and in doing so, the act made the Beatles' classic its own.

Brandon Marshall

Location Info


1STBANK Center

11450 Broomfield Lane, Broomfield, CO

Category: Music

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