he String Cheese Incident is a band immersed in legend. Over the last 25 years this group of musicians from Colorado have created an intense following that can only be described as a community of queso, a family of cheese heads. What started as a method to get money for lift tickets became a musical movement that would create lasting impressions on our contemporary vision of music culture by consistently cultivating happiness through their intricate live sets. For millennials entering the music scene The String Cheese Incident seems like an abstract group of musical gods with a textured history that can never be fully explained. They will have multiple sets at the biggest festivals such as Electric Forest because they have been the main stage act for ages. But why? What is it about this jam band that urges thousands of devout followers to go to the ends of the earth to get another sample of cheese? They've written books about the phenomenon (The Tao of Cheese) but even these primary sources lack the mystical appeal that seems to radiate from the group. There are no documentaries that can fully explain the effects of an Incident, you have to experience it for yourself.

The String Cheese Incident, founded in 1993,is composed of Bill Nershi on vocals and guitar, Michael Kang on guitar and violin, Keith Moseley on bass, Kyle Hollingsworth on the Keys, Michael Travis on drums, and Jason Hann has been providing additional percussion since the early 2000s but there was no introduction needed as they took the stage for the first night of their Chicago run on their 25th Anniversary Tour. The presence of the band seemed to create a mass hypnosis within the crowd that made everyone smile and dance. Each member of the group adds a specific form of energy that creates the cheesy chemistry everyone knows and loves today. Bill Nershi, one of the main founders of the group, occupies a paternal-sage role that is emphasized by his inspirational lyrics and acoustic rhythms that sort of guides the band. His energetic voice carries over the instruments creating wacky narratives and dropping kernels of wisdom. Michael Kang is quick to add explosive guitar and violin solos when he's not providing back up vocals or lead vocals. Kang went all out on Night One in Chicago when he performed 'These Waves'. Kieth Moseley provides infectious bass lines that will have your head bobbing in no time and he also provides lead and backup vocals for many tracks. Kyle Hollingsworth plays with synthesizers and keys during the jams but his contributions create intensely psychedelic effects that bring the improvisations to a transcendental level. Michael Travis and Jason Hann provide the percussion with Travis leading and Hann adding emphatic cymbals along with the occasional tribal drum solo.

All of these disparate elements create a cheesy whole that can never truly be defined, just experienced.

Set One: Sweet spot
My One and Only
These waves
Djibouti Bump
Miss Brown's Teahouse
Valley of the Jig

Set Two:

Sing a new song-
Doin my time
Smells like teen spirit tease
Doin my time


Photos by
Pedro Acosta