STS9 bumps in Charlotte

Sound Tribe Sector 9
The Fillmore
Charlotte, NC
October 25, 2012

Sound Tribe Sector 9 stirred up the music scene when they announced their Great Cycles Spectacles 2012 fall tour. They kicked off tour at the nostalgic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, a honky-tonk hub, and dropped some classic tunes there like “Kamuy,” “Somesing,” “Be Nice” and the “Breathe In” encore.

However, the Nashville setlist was merely a warmup for what they delivered to Charlotte at the Fillmore.

Located in the NC Music Factory, an entertainment district along the outskirts of downtown Charlotte, The Fillmore is a great place to catch good tunes. Driving into the Music Factory, a silhouette of Charlotte’s luminescent skyline welcomes you to “The Queen City.” Outside of the ridiculous drink prices, the Fillmore itself its a beautiful venue with several levels of viewing or dance room pleasure, and the venue’s chandeliers provided the perfect atmosphere for the magic.

STS9 opened up the evening with “Activation,” one of their newer songs. The whole room vibrate with sound as David Murphy’s bass ricocheted off the walls. It was great to see Murphy back on stage jamming with his cohorts after his break to undergo chemotherapy.

The energy of the crowd really started to get going when they played one of their groovier tunes, “Grow.” They also covered “Shakedown Street,” a Grateful Dead tune they debuted during the 2010 Denver New Years run that was a pleasant surprise for many Tribe and Dead fans. They closed out the first set with an “Arigato” that dropped everyone down to their knees, wanting more.

During set break, the majority of the people made their way out onto the patio to regroup. The community music creates really stuck out at this show in particular. People conversed with friends old and new.

The second set started and percussionist Jeffree Lerner really upped the energy during “Inspire Strikes Back.” It was a truly heartwarming sight to see everyone in the room getting down, huge smiles on every face.

STS9’s light master Saxton Waller is back on tour with them, and the whole ambiance of the show was on point. His lights were perfectly in sync with the music, creating a symmetrically stellar audio and visual experience.

“Rent” and “EHM” also made appearances in the second set, two staples that seem to never get old. They closed out the show with “Ramone & Emiglio,” giving David Phipps time to shine on the keys.

Many STS9 fans who have been listening to their music since the early 2000s are not pleased with the direction the band has taken over the past several years. Their sound use to be more directly related to funk, jazz, jam and improv, and their most recent albums Peace Blaster and When the Dust Settles almost sounds like a different band – more computers and less organic, instrumental sounds.

At the Fillmore, though, they did a great job of incorporating old tracks with new ones. Some of the newer songs were interestingly catchy and flowed well with the whole performance. Overall, the show was a success for the band and the audience.

Click on the thumbnail(s) to view photos from the show by Brad Kuntz…