As everyone scavenged to find some 3D glasses from the night before, the show kicked off with a beloved 15 minute “‘Round The Wheel.” Then “100 Year Flood” was played and we were reminded of flood relief victims in North Carolina which affected some of Billy’s immediate family. Next we heard a song that has never been played called “Travis,” which is an improvisational song with Michael Travis on the vocals. This song took us to another dimension, with it’s eery, yet beautiful lyrics, kind of similar to last New Years’ “I’m Still Here” that Michael Travis also sings and wrote, which we haven’t heard since. Next was “45th of November,” written with Robert Hunter, who also wrote a lot of Grateful Dead songs. This was a very emotional song for many fans, as it was sang very heartfelt by Kyle that night, bringing tears to many eyes, not to mention the sick nasty jam at the end that cleared the tears away and brought us into a magical realm that String Cheese jams often do. Finally, “Birdland > Flying Home Jam > Birdland” was the perfect ending to a perfect set. “Flying Home Jam” is usually sandwiched between “Birdland,” but somehow it was like it was the first time; it was just THAT good! This set blew everyone out of the water and was deemed a lot of fans’ favorite set of the weekend, giving us those classic cheesy songs that we were longing to hear after a super intense first night.
Set 2 was also super queso fuego, giving us classics we were dying to hear! “Colliding” got everyone jumpin’ and thumpin’ with Keith’s bass riffs and amazing voice. The jam was like no “Colliding” I’ve heard in a really long time; it was so perfect. They then proceeded with “Rhythm Of The Road,” probably in honor of the release of Rhythm of the Road Volume I and II that were both released in Fall 2015. (If you haven’t gotten your copies of both of these fire live Cheese discs, please get your hands on a copy of each! You won’t regret it.) Then we got a “Colorado Bluebird Sky,” which we all knew was coming, since we always get “CBS” in Colorado! Even though this song is played way more than a lot of other songs, we were so excited and proud to be in Colorado at that moment when the song came on. The “CBS” jam took us far into outer space on a journey that no man has been on before! This jam just keeps getting better and better everytime it’s played. All the while, we were watching in awe with our 3D glasses! We also got Bob Marley’s “Exodus,” a super trippy 13 minute “Rivertrance” that was beyond amazing, ending the show with an insane “Rollover,” which was also one of the best I’ve heard in all of it’s times being played over the years.
Special guests Kris Myers and Brendan Bayliss of Umphreys McGee sat in for the encore, as they also had a three night NYE run in Denver. Kris sat in for Umph Drums and both Kris and Brendan sat in for Blondie’s “Heart Of Glass” and “Let’s Go Outside.” As soon as “Heart Of Glass” came on (sang by Brendan Bayliss), the whole arena lost it! It was amazing to
be around so many people that were so blown away by this choice of encore song, as I don’t believe they’ve ever played before.
Words by Cassandra “Mama Cass” Perez
Photos by Emily Takacs