I’ve got a song in my head, and it keeps me going. Exactly. String Cheese opened the Georgia Theatre setlist with that song and it made me smile. Its not that I ever have that particular song in my head, which is ironic given its lyrical nature, but we all have the experience of not being able to shake a song out of our heads; wondering many times where it came from and what it signifies. Why did I wake up singing the safety dance? What does that mean? I digress.
They jammed seamlessly into Missin’ Me, a great Kyle song that I had never heard live before. They pulled out a few songs I had never heard them play before, including Dudleys Kitchen and my personal favorite Hotel Window. The only part of the first set that rubbed me the wrong way was the jam our of Joyful Sound. Its such a beautiful song, that I feel a little weird about the heavy drum and bass ending to such a light and sentimental song. I have always enjoyed the original jam much more, just because I think it fits the song better.
On the other hand, if they hadn’t gone heavy with the drums and bass on Joyful Sound then it may have been a slightly more awkward transition into Howard (which blew my mind). Howard is such an amazing song, and I love the switch from its heavy metal like verses to its light hearted and jumpy chorus. They definitely ended the first set on a high note, and had everyone more excited than ever, I heard more conversations dedicated to the calling of songs than ever before in the lobby of the Georgia Theatre at set break.
I called the Sand Dollar and they opened the second set with it, which is always a great feeling. The transition into Cant Stop Now was extremely confusing for everyone I was with. We all thought they were going into Born on the Wrong Planet, and it seemed like they were all vying for a different song. That or they had conflicting set lists and couldn’t figure out who had the correct one. Billy came to microphone at one point and began to sing something, but then stopped and the band resumed their light hearted argument over what song to play. Keith brought it all home and started the Cant Stop Now, which ended everyones confusion for the most part. After the rather confusing interlude into Cant Stop Now they played Water which I felt was appropriate given its calming nature.
Cottonmouth jam was epic to say the least, and then they whipped out a new song called BollyMunster. A mixture of Bollywood music and heavy celtic trance, this is a new Rivertrance or Valley of the Jig like song. It was dirty in the best way possible, and we got down to follow suit. My examination after the show shows me that most people loved the new song, while others couldn’t put their finger on what the song sounded like. A few people told me that the Bollywood music sounded like a DJ that they had already heard before, and that the whole time they heard the song they just kept waiting for the band to make it their own and they never did. With that being said, the song has amazing potential to be another coveted trance dance interlude if the band can make the Bollywood music their own some how.
The Close Your Eyes after BollyMunster was amazing, and I had been waiting to hear it for the whole tour. That song reminds me that everything I need is within me. That I am all that is in the universe. Pretty great feeling to be reminded of in the middle of a dance party at the Georgia Theatre.
I had also never heard Round the Wheel played live before, and since I live in Colorado it certainly resonated with me. We really have been waiting for the snow to fall out there, and I felt that the song itself, especially played in Athens, GA was an homage to the bands roots in Colorado. It was very fitting for this show and this tour, since most of the people who attended went through hell to get a ticket to the the 800 person venue. Most of the Cheese brethren who attended had been seeing the band play for many many years. The Round the Wheel closed the second set in such a way that I was reminded where they started and where they have come as a band over the last 18 years.
The encore was short and sweet, with just one song, but a great song at that. I Know You Rider always gets me all sentimental, and I thought it was fitting that they played it for the encore since we would definitely miss them once they left the stage. The whole show was incredible, and so intimate. They really shed their skin in front of us, and experimented with new songs, and new jams in a venue that was the definition of intimate. The room had an incredible energy to it, a heightened sense of appreciation since what we were witnessing was so rare. Thanks for such an amazing show boys! To Nashville, TN we go!
Words by Julia Bentley
Photos by Brian Spady
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