UPDATE: Seven concertgoers were injured from falling rocks at the venue during Saturday’s performance. Click here to read the full article.
Electronic rock heavyweights Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9) brought the party to a sold out crowd at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on Friday night. Since first headlining the monumental venue in 2006, STS9 has made it an annual trademark, congregating a legion of free-spirited dance fiends from across country in the process.
The night began with a booty-shaking set of hits by rapper Snoop Dogg. Using his celebrity status and a trio of scantily clad backup dancers, Snoop paraded around the stage shouting out directions as often as lyrics. While the rapper was noticeably animated and his laid-back delivery on point, heightened security and a late arriving crowd left many ticket holders waiting in massive lines for much of his performance.
By the time STS9 took the stage, the energy and anticipation in the amphitheatre was electrifying. Playing in front of a massive LED light show, the band guided the audience through song after song of experimental, groove-heavy, electronic dance music.
Though all five members of the band are incredibly talented in their own right, it is the collaborative nature of STS9’s music that creates its appeal. Driven by the hard-hitting beats of drummer Zach Velmer and the subtle funk licks from bassist David Murphy, the members listen to each other extremely well. Vetoing the typical jam band formula of individual solos, STS9 instead creates collective soundscapes in which every member has an equal voice.
Set 1: Artifact> Arigato> HHHF, Metameme, Be Nice, Empires, Breathe In, Instantly, Oil & Water Set 2: Drums> Scheme, Rent> Evasive> Eb, Beyond Right Now, Aimlessly, EHM, Circus Encore: This, Us > Monkey Music
Nate Etter is a Boulder-based musician and a regular contributor to Reverb.
Lisa Higginbotham is a Denver photographer and a new contributor to Reverb.