The String Cheese Incident Just Keeps on Stretching

Brooklyn Bowl, February 13

Photo by Erik Kabik

Photo by Erik Kabik

There was a Mardi Gras-like air of anticipation for the first of three straight sold-out “Incidents” at Brooklyn Bowl, with many fans dressed wildly for the occasion. They were treated to more than three hours of music, as the String Cheese Incident showed the versatility that has made them one of the most popular jam-band acts of the last 20 years.

The Boulder, Colorado-based sextet’s constant shape-shifting kept the audience on its toes, with songs such as “Close Your Eyes” and “Miss Brown’s Teahouse” becoming mini-epics as multi-instrumentalist Michael Kang switched from mandolin to violin to electric guitar, sometimes in the course of one song, and Kyle Hollingsworth navigated an array of keyboards to provide a variety of textures.

It wouldn’t have been a true Incident, though, without some crowd-pleasing covers—and there were plenty, with the band tackling tunes by the Talking Heads, Herbie Hancock, Weather Report and the Beatles before closing with Peter Gabriel’s “Shaking the Tree.”

It was quite a breakneck pace to start a three-night run. But the band has long shown that it has the stamina to go the distance. ★★★★✩