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Review Sun Jan 22 2012

Review: STS9 "Great Cycle Spectacles" @ the Congress Theater

The cab-ride discussion on the way to Congress Theater on Friday focused mostly on what sort of "stops" Sound Tribe Sector 9 would be pulling out for the first of their two-night "Great Cycle Spectacles" series, one that the band promised to be a "one of a kind performance celebrating a spectacle of music, art and imagination." My friends and I didn't quite know what to expect.


Photo by Mike Ferguson

I've seen some stuff in my days of concert going. I've also already seen this band a handful of times. So, I was a little skeptical that this would be anymore that just an average STS9 show--which, for the record, is one hell of a show.

Spoiler alert: if you've ever seen this band play live before, you knew what to expect. I can't stress enough that this is not necessarily a bad thing. The light show was pure eye candy--an LED backdrop shaped like an Aztec pyramid to reinforce the fact that these shows were indeed a tribute to the end of the world. The sets were still awesomely long--a combined total of close to three hours.

If there is something out of the ordinary to be said for this show, it's that the set list was decidedly less electronic-based that the past couple times I've seen STS9 play.

I refrained from disappointed eyerolling when the band first took the stage and launched into one of their newer tracks, full of keyboard swells and other electro overtones. And it's a good thing I did, because I would have looked like a fool. About ten minutes into the set the unmistakable guitar line from "Moon Socket," the opener to STS9's 1999 debut album Interplanetary Escape Vehicle," emerged from the speakers. Things only went up from there. As if producing a retrospective of their career, the band journeyed though their various stages of their discography--one that's expansive enough that it filled the three-hour set time with ease.


Photo by Mike Ferguson

At this point it's hard for me to keep this review focused on the band, simply because unfortunately it seemed as the majority of those in attendance weren't. Jam bands like STS9 bring out a certain type of crowd that wants a certain type of concert experience. That's all good, but at a certain point it just becomes obnoxious. When you can't hear the keyboard solo over the massive line for beer that's suddenly appeared, it's disappointing.

So, let's pretend 2012 is it. The world is ending. Would this have been my pick for the last show on earth? No. Did I still have a pretty darn good time? Yes. Luckily, I follow a Roman calendar so this shouldn't pose too much of a problem.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

Our Final Transmission Days

By The Gapers Block Transmission Staff

Transmission staffers share their most cherished memories and moments while writing for Gapers Block.

Read this feature »


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