It Smells Like Otto’s Jacket

Bob and I went to Denver over the weekend to see String Cheese Incident with our friend, Walker.

Everything went smoothly and we had a fantastic time and according to Bob I saw 1 of the best Cheese shows ever. Good news because honestly, these were my 7th and 8th shows and all the songs still sound the same.

We hit a small snafu at check-in. Apparently one of our names matches a name on the current watchlist and given the braintrust that is operating “security” for this nation, I don’t doubt that half the people in the country get tagged when they want to board an aircraft. We were given a sheet of paper so that we (they don’t know which one of us triggered the extra security check) can go through some 45 day process to avoid the extra hassle at the airport. I’m certain it will be unnecessarily invasive and stupid and not sure we are even going to do it. If giving up kiosk check-in and waiting an extra 5 minutes for an ID check is the alternative, given how little we fly, we’ll probably live with it.

In the gate Bob pointed out this kid dressed in full Davy Crockett get up — coonskin cap and a brown denim top and pants in a deerhide color. When we boarded turned out we were in the back row, next to young Davy. He was a little twitchy but probably average for that age. He worked on his math homework, basic addition and subtraction: with a calculator. Are you allowed to do that? Shouldn’t it be a basic life requirement to add and subtract in your head?

I was burnt about the back row but all sorts of interesting people lined up to use the john. One guy had on a Phish shirt so I asked: “Are you going to Cheese?” and w/o even hesitating he said yeah and proceeded to tell us how it was a bunch of buddies doing a last minute reunion, they didn’t have tickets, but they knew lots of “other” ways to get into the show.

Another guy looked like a rockstar Tommy Lee guy in black leather fringe jacket and he brought two adorable little girls back, both wearing Harley Davidson t-shirts.

We met Walker at the Airport and grabbed a cab and headed downtown, checked into our hotel, changed clothes and headed right back out to grab a bite before the show. Walker and I both had a Great Divide Amber and we both took a sip, set down our glasses and at the same time said: That’s great beer.

We arrived at the Fillmore in time for the full-on hippy freakshow out front. Some guy with a megaphone wanted donations for something and tons of hippies stood around with a finger in the air, hoping for a miracle. (Didn’t see the guy from the plane.)

The Fillmore is a giant venue with a wide ballroom floor and chandeliers plus huge side areas with a few chairs and tables and plenty of bars. We chose to sit in the risers behind the stage. The view was excellent. I was thrilled to have a place to sit and during the show we could see what the band saw: the crowd bouncing around. Kyle had one of those little flying cows on a wire that went in circles over him during the show both nights. A cow tech adjusted the cow before each show and during the show if there were technical difficulties. I was riveted by the flying cow’s status and cried, “Cow Tech!” when it flopped around and needed an adjustment.

So about the show: I don’t know what to tell you. I had fun. I like live music and dancing around. The cloud of patchouli and smoke took about 5 years off my life, but it’s all part of the scene. Perry Farrell DJ’d Friday night and SCI played some Jane’s Addiction songs with him which I loved. And Del McCoury’s band (w/o Del) played with them a lot on Saturday night which was awesome. These were Walker’s 50 and 51st shows and Bob’s 25 and 26th. The band would play a bar or two and Walker, Bob and the crowd would all cheer and I’d be thinking, “This sounds exactly like the last song.”

After the show we went to the best liquor store ever. It was across the street from the Fillmore and basically a giant barn filled with rows and rows of every kind of wine or liquor you could ever think of plus a whole wall of fridge case with beer. We could have shopped there forever but we only had 15 minutes until closing. Walker wanted to buy a bottle of water and the guy was like, “Um, I think we have that… .”

After the show Saturday night we went for a late night snack. I wanted something sweet and all the choices were chocolate or cheesecake except for apple pie – which I ordered and they were out of. I went against my instincts and ate this cheesecake thing. Never again. I could hardly sleep my roiling innards were so unhappy with my choice.

We staggered out early, and headed back to the airport under a cold, clear sky. Excellent adventure.

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