For a band that has been touring for almost 20 years, you would never expect to see the energy that comes from Sound Tribe Sector 9 today. Covering their 2nd night of their 2 night run at Aragon Ballroom was something I had been looking forward to for quite some time. For me I actually have covered this band since pretty close to their beginning. This group has come a long way from playing the likes of the basement at the Rave Eagles Club in Milwaukee. Both musically and visually, this band is nothing like they were back in the day. They have grown into one of the most exciting live acts that currently tours.
The night started off pretty slow in regards to the crowd arriving later than normal. That did not stop STS9 from kicking off the first set with a heavy and funky batch of tracks. Fans who arrived early were there for the sole purpose of dancing their asses off throughout the night. The transition from track to track was so seamless and the entire night flowed beautifully. Fans were given opportunities to slow down a bit as to not burn out from dancing for over 3 hours. Besides all of the energy from the lights and music, the other huge crowd pleaser came in the form of drummer Zach Velmer. This guy consistently brings an energy to the stage that is hard to compete with. The entire night he was on fire and showed no signs of stopping. Anytime he would direct his attention to the crowd, the whole place would go bonkers. The entire band is integral, but Zach is clearly the maestro.
After they took an extended break in between sets they came back with an even harder 2nd set. The crowd churned for the next hour in complete euphoria. The reaction I saw from fans when each new song would begin was of pure joy. So many friends hugging each other and responding with the fact they couldn’t believe they were playing that song. You don’t see that at many shows. Especially acts that play a standard set of songs each night. No matter what you feel about instrumental music with tinges of funk, electronic synth, rock, jazz, jam band, tones. Seeing them perform live will hook you.
STS9 has a few more shows coming up that are currently announced, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see more added later in the year. You can check them out in Vegas at the end of March and in Phoenix in April. Have a look at the photos and the setlist will be up soon!