Live review: Fourmile Canyon Revival (String Cheese Incident, Yonder Mountain String Band, Leftover Salmon, more) @ 1stBank CenterBy Candace Horgan | October 11th, 2010 | 2 comments
It’s kind of funny that Phish has been involved in two of the best, most complete days of music I’ve ever had the privilege of attending. That those days took place more than 18 years apart is even more amusing. The first was the original HORDE tour, when Phish, Blues Traveler, Widespread Panic, Spin Doctors and Aquarium Rescue Unit teamed up for a summer tour that allowed them to fill arenas they wouldn’t have (at the time) been able to. The second was Saturday night in Broomfield, at the Fourmile Canyon Revival Benefit Concert.
Of course, for most of the bands on the bill Saturday, they didn’t need to team up to fill the 1st Bank Center. Instead, the artists, many of whom were personally affected by the fire, donated their time and efforts to raise money for the Boulder Mountain Fire Relief Fund. The event sold out all 6,500 tickets quickly, and hundreds, if not thousands, of people were in the lot hoping to find a ticket. Over $300,000 was raised; more may still be pledged, as a phone number (303-720-7292) was set up for people to donate money via text if they wanted to.
Leftover Salmon got the evening’s festivities going, starting their set with “Gold Hill Line,” an appropriate choice, since the fire threatened Gold Hill, but missed it. Gold Hill “mayor” and volunteer firefighter Amy Hardy joined String Cheese Incident bassist Keith Moseley onstage during a break to talk about the efforts to fight the fire and what the proceeds from the event were going toward.
Moseley played bass for the entire Salmon set, while banjo duties were taken by Andy Thorn, who usually plays in the Emmitt-Nershi band. Phish keyboardist Page McConnell sat in on several songs, including the Cajun-flavored “Mama Boulet,” while SCI guitarist Bill Nershi joined in on “High on a Mountain.”
Yonder Mountain String Band followed (each act was allotted about an hour, with 20-30 minutes between sets). Yonder set a loose groove early on “40 Miles from Denver,” while Dave Johnston shredded some banjo licks on the instrumental “Mental Breakdown.” Phish drummer Jon Fishman sat in for over half the set; he has toured with Yonder before, and mandolin player Jeff Austin joked “We’re getting the band back together” before launching into the John Prine-esque “Steep Grade, Sharp Curves.” On a cover of Talking Heads “Girlfriend is Better,” the foursome fired into an exploratory jam.
Big Head Todd (and the Monsters) brought things back down from the twang-fest into more straight-ahead rock, getting his guitar gunslinger unleashed on “Broken Hearted Savior.” Emmitt and Vince Herman joined in on a cover of “Friend of the Devil.”
Though all four members of Phish were in the house, Trey Anastasio and Mike Gordon were the only one who played together, delivering a tight acoustic set that started mellow, with “Get Back on the Train.” Anastasio stopped the set at one point to give a shout-out to many of the volunteer firefighters who battled the Fourmile Canyon blaze, and pointed to the section where they had special seating.
The duo rocked several rare Phish chestnuts, such as “My Friend, My Friend,” and as soon as they started “Wilson,” the crowd started the Wilson chant. They closed with an off-the-charts “Bathtub Gin,” and the strength of the playing seemed to foreshadow good things for Phish’s upcoming three-night stand.
String Cheese Incident closed the show in fine style, brining it back to where it had started, with many guests sitting in. Anastasio gave things a boost on “Rocky Mountain Way,” which he sang, and his singing guitar solos fit well into the “Outside and Inside.” By the end of the show, there were 14 people onstage jamming on bluegrass classics like “Sitting on Top of the World.” The encore of “One Love” seemed like a wonderful choice, given the nature of the event.
Gold Hill Line, Everything Is Round, This is the Time, Mama Boulet1, Muddy Water Home2, Fire Line 2, High on a Mountain2, Just Keep Walking3, Whatcha Gonna Do?3
(1) with Page McConnell
2 with Page McConnell and Bill Nershi
3 with Page McConnell, Bill Nershi, and Bonnie Paine
Yonder Mountain String Band
Too Late Now, 40 Miles From Denver, Mental Breakdown, Mother’s Only Son, Pockets1, Steep Grade Sharp Curves1, Fingerprint1, Catch A Criminal1, Girlfriend Is Better1 > 2 Hits and the Joint Turned Brown1
(1) with Jon Fishman
Big Head Todd and the Monsters
Beautiful World, Her Own Kinda Woman, Beautiful, Muhammad Ali, Friend of the Devil1,Broken Hearted Savior, Please Don’t Tell Her, Conquistador, Boom Boom, Rocksteady
(1) with Drew Emmitt and Vince Herman
Trey Anastasio and Mike Gordon
Back on the Train, Water in the Sky, Sample in a Jar, Train Song, Waste, Possum, My Friend My Friend, Wilson, Bathtub Gin
String Cheese Incident
Mouna Bowa, Rocky Mountain Way1, Outside and Inside1, Galactic > Round the Wheel, Sometimes a River, Who’s That Lady2, Sittin On Top of the World3, I Know You Rider4
Encore: One Love4
1 with Trey Anastasio
2 with Todd Park Mohr
3 with Drew Emmitt, Vince Herman, Andy Thorn, Bill McKay, Bonnie Paine, and Todd Park Mohr
4with Drew Emmitt, Vince Herman, Andy Thorn, Bill McKay, Bonnie Paine, Jeremy Lawton, Jeff Austin, and Todd Park Mohr