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String Cheese Incident - 7/28/2010 - 8/1/2010: Horning’s Hideout; North Plains, OR  
Posted: 12 years ago by KindWeb Ed
String Cheese Incident - 7/28/2010 - 8/1/2010:  Horning’s Hideout; North Plains, OR
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Throw away your inhibition hat, slip on your dancing shoes and let your freak flag touch the sky and you might just be ready for an Incident in the remote, tree-laden hills of Horning’s Hideout.  The Hideout, owned by Portland area local and 2010 Oregon State Senate candidate Bob Horning, is a lush mountain resort tucked away in the outlying mountains West of Portland.  Much of the park is enclosed by towering evergreen trees, offering shady camping areas, breathtaking scenery as far as the eye can see and scarcely any reminder of an outside world.  Radiant blue peacocks roam around the grounds and perch high in the trees, calling to each other with bellowing catlike meows and leaving vivid souvenir feathers all around, serving as a colorful mascot for the park.  A small lake in front of Mom Horning’s house feeds a creek which runs through the many camping and recreation areas, all connected together by twisty, sloping trails like giant corridors in a secret, underground labyrinth.  Every nook, cranny and corner has potential for magical discoveries while navigating the maze, but the place is intimate enough to never be too far from camp.  Situated as a permanent staple, nestled away behind the lake is the amphitheater: a sturdy wooden stage in front of a dusty dance floor and a treacherously steep hill making a semi-circle of theater seating around the stage.


The Boulder, Colorado based jam band jesters, String Cheese Incident have now played Horning’s on seven separate occasions since their debut in the majestic park ten years ago.  With each occasion being a three night stand, they have hosted a grand total of twenty-one spectacular nights of lighthearted and euphoric music, blissful dancing and breathtaking visual displays at their home away from home.  And yeah, it’s more than just a concert, festival or party, it’s a celebration of the beauty of being alive.  Today however, after three years of nearly unbroken hiatus, this particular Incident is as much a family reunion as it is anything else.  Only 5,000 tickets were sold to the event holding three of their ten scheduled shows of 2010, which were completely bought out in a matter of moments.  Months of planning and excitement clearly went into the event because when the String Cheese circus arrived on the scene, the Horning family’s nature park was turned into a technicolor, tie-dyed candy land complete with surreal dreamscape art fixtures and all the glowing energy of a love-cano eruption.


The music of the String Cheese Incident is a concoction of bluegrass, rock, funk, latin/tropical, reggae, disco, folk and jazz all mixed and balanced neatly on a tightly knit but exploratory and peak laden, improvisational seesaw and featuring catchy, honest, sometimes humorous tales gathered from the many trails the members of the band have navigated.  The hodgepodge band is comprised of the flat picking sage Billy Nershi bringing exciting life to the six-string acoustic guitar, the ever so smooth Kyle Hollingsworth presiding famously over all things keys, the prodigious Michael Kang on both violin and a soaring electric mandolin, Keith Moseley manning the funky low end on bass guitar entangled alongside the rhythmatic duo of Michael Travis on the drum set and Jason Hann in his incredibly complete percussion universe.  Experiencing one of their shows is like riding a steam train, coasting up the scenic mountainside straight into a series of theme park roller coasters before barreling back down the mountain with twice the intensity and plunging into an entirely different planet.  As the sun goes down, the strobing stage lights glare and flash, showers of glow sticks launch at every musical peak, lasers, disco balls, LED toys and everything else imaginable begin to light up the place in a phosphorescent shimmer like a Timothy Leary inspired Las Vegas strip.  Hugs are passed out like handshakes and as the ride draws to a close and those who were lucky enough to be there begin to process it as the after parties rage on.


Thursday July 28, 2010
In a move forward from past years of Horning’s Hideout Incidents, this gathering was much like a festival, featuring three stages besides the main amphitheater stage, with some kind of music going on all the way from noon until 4 a.m.  In the past few years since the last regularly scheduled Incidents, the members have all immersed themselves in new projects, some of which have very obvious lineage in Cheese like The Kyle Hollingsworth Band whose funky, jammy jazz grooves opened the festival with a dirty “Taxman” jam as well as the highly covered Talking Heads tune “Naive Melody (This Must Be The Place)”, and some whose Cheesy roots are not so obvious like Jason Hann and Michael Travis’s synth charged dub-step improv duo Eoto which closed out the main stage on the first night with an electrifying dance performance by a tequila bottle toting Billy Nershi.  An appearance was made by Nershi’s current project, The Emitt-Nershi Band, a bluegrass foursome featuring Billy on guitar and Drew Emitt of Leftover Salmon on the mandolin.  Also featured on the first night was the high energy of CB-3 with Chris Berry belting out positive reggae like messages on vocals and Michael Kang doing what he does best on the electric mandolin. 


Friday July 29, 2010
Friday featured a captivating acoustic guitar duet during the day by Billy Nershi with Oregon’s own Scott Law as more and more exSCIted fans poured into the campground and eventually to the stage areas to explore the scene, shop in the merchants’ tented vending areas, sample some of the lovingly made foods and hand crafted ales and eventually make their way to the stage for the first night of String Cheese madness.  The night started with a welcome from Bob’s mom, Jane Horning, thanking everyone for coming and always being such wonderful guests.  From here, the band jumped into their first song of the festival, “Smile” and sure enough everyone within close proximity was smiling as they blazed through the first set featuring highlights in the funky “Born on the Wrong Planet” which brought the first improvisation of the night with a deep, trance-y, grooving jam, layering synthesizers by Hollingsworth and a jazzy exploration by Kang into the nether worlds of improvisation over Moseley’s thumping bass before Travis and Hann built the energy to an overwhelming apex with an explosion back into the end of “Born on the Wrong Planet.”  This was followed by the Paul Simon-esque “Under African Skies” where Kang lit a fire with his violin over the upbeat music as the crowd rippled with delight.  The jazzy “Climb” came next featuring a Hollingsworth solo that built fittingly from a slow trickle up to a massive peak where Kang took over with his blazing electric mando.  To finish the set, the boys invited the Soul Rebels Brass Band to give that extra dirty kick to the already always funky “Miss Brown’s Teahouse.”


The second set was a barn burner from front to back with improv heavy songs like “Black and White” and a beautiful jam with sprinkling piano in “Water”.  “Dirk” followed “Water” with a two minute “Jungle Boogie” crammed in the middle of it and th