The last of the String Cheese Incident's famous "Hulaween" concerts, pregnant with epic jams and cover songs, ended in 2004. It was right around the time they started scaling back tours and going on a series of hiatuses. But here it should be noted that although this world renowned ensemble of hippie jam artists aren't making new albums or gigging very much (if at all), they've given fans enough material to last a lifetime. No where is that more evident than the nine-disc monstrosity, Trick or Treat, released today. Yeah, you heard that right, NINE discs. That includes CD, vinyl and digital material as well as posters, personalized liner notes and a hacky sack (sorry, the hacky sack part was a lie).
SCI fans (commonly referred to as Friends of Cheesus) who pick up this box set are instantly inundated with mountains of material from legendary "Hulaween" shows in Atlanta's Variety Playhouse (1998), Pennsylvania's Electric Factory (1999), LA's Shine Auditorium (2002) and many more.
The main selling point of Trick or Treat, besides the fact that you definitely want these tracks bumping in your pitchuli scented shaggin' wagon on Halloween night, is that you can actually feel the warm, rabid frenzy of an SCI show. Classic xylophonic covers like "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite", blissful, reverb-laden renditions of the Police's "Walking on the Moon", bounce off of waves of cheers and, in many cases, the crisp night air of their outdoor shows. The expanded box set also includes must-hear cover versions of the Beastie Boys ("No Sleep Till Brooklyn"), the Grateful Dead ("Shakedown Street"), and even K.C. and the Sunshine Band ("Get Down Tonight").
But for the average FOC who lives his/her SCI, TOT might even be a little too much to handle. While dedicated fan hood is a treasured virtue, how many of you really need six commemorative "Hulaween" posters? Not to mention that this thing is heavy enough to tear a hole in an ordinary candy-catching pillowcase. Luckily, they've also released a more travel-friendly double disc version if their live "Hulaween" sets. See, even they know how crazy this box set is.