Sound Tribe Sector 9: They are back, in with the new, in with the old

Sound Tribe Sector 9 with opener Two Fresh, melt The Music Farm.

What's to say about this band that has not already been said? Sound Tribe Sector 9, with opener Two Fresh, played the sold out Music Farm on March 10th to a crowd of more than just "fans."

At 9 p.m., I found myself surrounded by “believers;” those who not only desire the future of this band to hold more than just the generic “Rock-Star” status and pump out studio CD after CD; but those who believe that this band still has many options and grounds that they have yet to face or tread upon. Quoting bassist Dave Murphy from Relix (April-2005), “You have to always be open to change and the way things are gonna go,” single-handily encompasses how this band can re-define their future through action, and (very simply put) did it and are doing it.

With an unplanned recent release of their new album, AD EXPLORATA, STS9 is back on tour playing at a level of caliber I have no comparison to; seeing them since 2002, even headlining at Red Rocks, CO in 2007, does not embrace Wednesday night’s spectacle. I may refer to it as the - Cut The Bullshit Tour.

Playing songs that made us seek their music in the first place, walking grounds that would look/seem “old,” revealed the truth that they are capable, ready and willing to play newer/experimental interpretations, sounds and un-predictable transitions of favorites and at the same time, create an environment that only welcomes and encourages the freedom of expression from it's fans and believers.

So... what happened? What’s the change?

Why, after seeing STS9 since 2002 and feeling abrasive vibes and feelings from fans directed at the band and myself, did I feel welcome? Fans were pissed, hostile and tired of the sound. Through my experience of the subculture that follows STS9 across the US, it's hard for the Carhartt wearing lover of music to find social acceptance within this culture and last time I checked we were all there for the same reason.

My own interpretations and revelations have lead me to think that this band has come to a place of peace and enlightenment through the vibes, energy, emotions and understanding I witnessed Wednesday evening. Touching on Jonathan Zwickel’s recent article on (2010), “... over the past few years, longtime fans dropped out of STS9 bored deeply into cold, meticulous laptopism or low-key acid-jazz grooves... They’re no longer trying it... there was a welcome, middle-aged comfortableness in these shows (Portland, Seattle; 2010), in the band’s relaxed onstage demeanor....”

3,000 miles away; I felt the same thing, and it's about time.

STS9 shook, rattled and moved The Music Farm (possibly leaving structural damage); done.

Prepping myself for Wednesday night, reading recent reviews and chatting amongst long-time followers of STS9 was not enough preparation for me in, "getting my face melted off."

The expectations were exceeded and negating these previous thoughts on "STS9 becoming normalized, ritualized, ordinary and showcasing a lost sense of love and passion."

They are back; taking names and numbers. Go See Them.

Set I: Wika Chikana > Tooth, Instantly, Trinocular > Vibyl, Blumood, ABCs, STS9, Shock Doctrine.  Set II: Evasive Manuevers > Kamuy, Breath In, We'll Meet In Our Dreams, Inspire Strikes Back, New New for U U.  Encore: Heavy > Circus.

Leaving me speechless, breathless and numb; this show goes down as one of the best shows I have seen at The Farm and the best I have seen of STS9. 

Checkout upcoming shows > here online at The Music Farm. Look out for Keller Williams in April.

Filed in