Jazz Fest Flashback: The String Cheese Incident @ Saenger Theatre – 5/5/2000
In honor of The String Cheese Incident’s first full tour firing up next weekend in Asheville, we are featuring a classic show from the still-yet-to-be-reopened Saenger Theatre in 2000. This SCI/Bela Fleck twin bill was a Superfly Presents production pre-dating the locally born entertainment company’s big jumping off point in 2002 when they helped create the now-legendary Bonnaroo Music & Arts festival.
The “Shine, Rivertrance, Rollover > Lost” sequence showcases the band firing on all cylinders and the four-song blowout spans nearly an hour. At an early, but established point in their career when the band was still regularly exceeding 150 shows a year, String Cheese was always in mid-tour stride and this lengthy show at the Saenger came after a rare night off and the day before hustling up to Atlanta in Bussie for a show at Music Midtown. With guest spots including one by Karl Denson (who had a later show at The Howlin’ Wolf) on “Lost” and Bela Fleck, Jeff Coffin and Victor Wooten of Bela Fleck and the Flecktones on the jazz standard and SCI staple cover “Birdland”, this show has always held a special place in SCI lore and many archivists of the band rank it near the top of their list. Luckily, this soundboard recording is free for anyone to download or stream on Archive.org. Now here’s hoping SCI returns to NOLA this Spring during Jazz Fest for a show or two around the city. Until then, enjoy this blast from Jazz Fest’s past!
5/5/2000 Saenger Theatre – New Orleans, LA
Set 1: Land’s End > Search, Cottonmouth, Birdland*, Sweet Melinda > Jam > Shine
Set 2: Rivertrance, Rollover > Jam > Lost**, Drifting Away, Restless Wind, Outside Inside > Jam > Rollover
Encore: Bend Down Low > Texas
* with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones
** with Karl Denson
About the author
Wesley grew up in coastal Georgia and is a former resident of The Music City and The Big Easy where he helped get LMB NOLA off-the-ground after launching in January 2011. Over the past few years, he has also contributed steadily to JamBase and Relix Magazine. Recently, Hodges moved on to L.A. where Abita Beer is hard to find, costs about $6 if located and impromptu parading in the streets will most likely get you arrested on the spot.
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