Words by Corinne Casella | Photos by Jeremy Gordon

The String Cheese Incident (SCI) opened their second night at the historic Brooklyn Kings Theatre to a packed house of eager fans. The band showed no signs of flagging after three days of gigs, ending their summer tour with overflowing energy and a heavy dose of playful camaraderie. Riding high on the energy trails of the night before, the band came out strong with an extended jam version of “Valley of the Jig,” a transformational piece fused with equal parts bluegrass and house beats. Followed up by perennial favorites, that included a funkified “Black and White,” and Latin accented “Yo Se.” Bill Nershi waxed poetic on a short version of “Farther,” giving the audience a melodic high five for not missing a Sunday show. Set closer “Round the Wheel,” conducted a heat wave of its own with near perfect transitions and punctuated grooves that helped redefine the band almost 20 years ago.

Part of the magic of the evening came from the venue’s ability to transfer attendees back to a time of gilded edges and marble opulence. Built in 1930, the former Loew’s Kings Theatre was dubbed one the five “wonder theaters,” known for its awe-inspiring French Renaissance-like curved ceilings and ornate details. Lovingly restored to its former glory, the approximate $95 million project included upgraded modern bathrooms with stalls for miles. SCI paid homage to the sanctity of the venue while adding their own unique twists with a light show that accented the music in near perfect symmetry.

Like a well-oiled machine the band opened the second set with an electrifying “Desert Dawn,” followed up by new tune, “Get Tight,” a light frothy song that felt like a summer breeze giving the audience a brief respite. The true highlight of the set was the addition of celebrated guitarist and musical director Scott Sharrard of the Gregg Allman Band for a foot-stomping rendition of “Hot ‘Lanta.” Continuing the vibes from their Allman Brothers Family Incident set at Peach Fest, Sharrad contributed his chops, to “On the Road,” and “Southbound.” Sharrard and Micheal Kang played off each other perfectly, inciting the crowd to new levels. SCI ended the night in ostinato-riff perfection with an octane-fueled cover of “Kashmir” and a three song encore. A night strong on improvisations and tributes, SCI proved that they are still a band not to be missed.

(Note: Photos are from August 13th & 14th @ Kings Theatre)


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