Live review: STS9 @ the Fillmore AuditoriumBy Nate Etter | January 16th, 2012 | 1 Comment »
After a five-night New Year’s run at the Tabernacle in their hometown of Atlanta, Ga., jamtronica pioneers Sound Tribe Sector 9 still had plenty in the tank for a two night special performance at Denver’s Fillmore Auditorium dubbed “The Great Cycle Spectacles” this weekend. Friday’s sold out show was by no means flawless, but the band’s consistently uplifting energy coupled by an immersive lighting experience left a dedicated legion of fans more than ready for round two.
Encouraging concertgoers via social media to arrive early for an “8 p.m. sharp” start (it was closer to 8:45), the auditorium was mostly filled when the show began with a utopian, futuristic LED production expanding on the band’s ongoing fascination with the Mayan calendar. A computerized female voice — represented on screen as a wave frequency — preached that “Someday, having solved the problems we face, we join a community of Galactic civilizations” before morphing into a spinning Mayan temple of symbols and color (the backdrop for the rest of the show). The band only then entered the stage and aptly ended the bizarre sci-fi intro with a catchy “2012” into the crowd favorite “Vapors.”
The night brought a healthy mix of old and new, though the consensus seemed to be in favor of funk-fueled dance jams like “Moonsocket” over more predictable, heavy-hitting newer material (and rightfully so). The driving percussion section of Zack Velmer and Jeffree Lerner kept the energized crowd bobbing even in the most out-there of moments and a 20-minute set break of electronic ambiance and lighting seamlessly separated sets without losing the atmosphere of the show.
STS9 will recreate the Great Cycle Spectacles next weekend at the Congress Theater in Chicago before joining fellow jam bands Umphrey’s McGee and the Disco Biscuits in Mexico for Mayan Holidaze to end the month.
Set 1: Intro > 20-12, Vapors, Looking Back on Earth, Breathe In > Circus, The Rabble, Simulator, Arigato, Kamuy > Drums > The Fog > Kamuy
Set 2: Scheme > Rent, Abcees, The Spectacle, Grizzly > Moonsocket, New Song, EHM
Encore: F. Word, Aimlessly
Nate Etter is a Boulder-based musician and a regular contributor to Reverb.
Andrew Bisset is a Denver photographer and a new contributor to Reverb.