String Cheese Incident
Review by Ash TaylorWith the Terrapin Station just weeks away, Alpine Valley was treated to a little prequel of sorts, with The String Cheese Incident. Although nowhere near as big as the Dead, younger hippies turned out in larger then expected numbers to the rolling hills of the Valley.
Photos by Terry Mayer
Ben Harper started out the psychedelic event, but really should have headlined the show. With just Ben and no other band members to help him out, he was going to have to pull it off on his own. If he succeeds he gets the glory, if he fails he gets the blame. It was all up to him. Surrounded by an assortment of instruments from acoustic guitars to mandolins, he won the crowd over in a matter of seconds. The one-man show proved a success with "One Road" and a heartfelt rendition of "Power." "Mr." spoke to the audience with raw emotion and simple conviction. "Sexual Healing," originally done by Marvin Gaye, was treated to a velvety and reverent delivery that played off the soul Gaye originally infused. Ben Harper is a passionate and gifted artist who should be writing some inspirational music for years to come
With a lengthy silence between sets, many fans rushed to the venders to get a snack or a beer. Others played Frisbee on the lawn while others just fell asleep wherever they happened to lay. The String Cheese Incident meandered onto the stage very casual and without purpose. The beach balls where bouncing and fans where dancing everywhere. Why? This is certainly not music to dance to. The multi-colored hillside, which will soon sprout ten-fold, was mesmerized by something other than the music...wink, wink. "Outside In" was the hit of the night, but the songs and the music just went on and on, longer then the Energizer bunny hopped up on caffeine would ever dare to go. Most like the repetitiveness of the same tune over and over, but after awhile one song sounded like the next and the next. It wasn't bad just repetitive. I had trouble determining where one song started and the next finished.
Although slightly better than elevator music, it really turned out to be just background music. If you can't wait for the Dead to come and absolutely need a fix until then - the String Cheese Incident will suffice, but try to save your money and wait until the Terrapin Station starts it's hippie train a rollin'.
String Cheese Incident
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