On the heels of losing founding member David Murphy, nationally renowned electronic jam band STS9 (Sound Tribe Sector 9) sets forth on its first full tour in almost a year. The tour opener is set to take place in our very own Egyptian Room at the Old National Center on Oct. 9th 2014 at 8PM.
When founding member and bassist David Murphy announced his permanent departure from the band, STS9 canceled their winter tour and circled the horses. After what we can only assume was a necessary, but planned break, STS9 formally invited Alana Rocklin to replace Murphy as lead bassist.
Her first appearance took place at the McDowell Mountain Music Festival where they debuted two new songs “New Dawn, New Day” and “World Go Round.” Fans seem to love the new addition and reinvigorated spirit STS9 now has and life begins to flow back into songs that previously seemed dead.
Worth noting is that this was not the first time Rocklin performed with STS9; she sat in on December 28th during the band’s 2013 NYE run at the Tabernacle in Atlanta, GA. Rocklin has previously worked with singer-songwriter Ben Sollee, as well as Jim James and his solo band.
Many fans are very excited to see where this new spirit, style and line-up will take the band as they embark on this tour. In previous shows, the band has had a style that lent itself to be much darker, exploring the depths of jam-rock “spaceyness.” Word on the street is the new STS9 is much more funky, less spacey and more of a dance party. I know I speak for many die-hard fans when I say that this show cannot come fast enough.
The last time STS9 was in Indy was around this time last year, but they opened for Umphrey’s McGee and their show took place while the sun was still up. The band is said to be featuring the biggest lighting rig ever, guaranteeing that they set a precedent for what to expect over the next few months of touring.
Thursday October 9th, 8 pm
Egyptian Room at Old National Centre
Tickets: $32.50 – buy now!
Festival junkies take heed: if you’re in need of a healthy dose of bass, have an insatiable urge to rage, and are looking for an inexplicable good time- Electric Forest is a must see. The festival celebrated its 4th running this past weekend starting on Thursday June 26th and ending on Sunday night, June 29th. Returning once again to the grounds of the lovely and beautiful Double JJ Ranch in Rothbury Michigan, the 2014 installment proved to be a powerhouse of rambunctious shenanigans, great music, psychedelic light shows, and improve – tomfoolery that no one will be forgetting anytime soon.
Thursday – June 26th
Thursday marked the first night of the festival. EOTO fed the crowd a healthy portion of crunchy beats and fatty bass. The sound cut out twice, but drummer Jason Hann was unphazed, performing a powerful acoustic drum solo without any amplified sound, ending just as the PA came back on to say “Yeah… to sexy for this PA”.
Later that night Umphrey’s McGee slayed the stage with their unrelenting lightshow and mind-bending improvisation. At certain points, their set sounded more like an Iron Maiden concert than a progressive rock show. During their second set, the group performed a stellar mash-up which combined MGMT’s “Kids” , Nirvana’s “Come As You Are” , Dead or Alive’s “You Spin Me Round” and Rage Against the Machine’s “Know Your Enemy”. The crowd was in awe; some cheered with delight, while others stood there stunned and trying to figure out where they were. Later, Brendan Bayliss informed the crowd that, drummer Kris Myers was, “rocking out so hard” that he had broken a tooth…
Indy homeboys Cosby Sweater performed an insanely groovy set during the Umphrey’s intermission, creating an Umphrey’s Sweater Sandwich. The crowd was unsure at first, but was up and dancing to the funky trio in no time. The trio grooved out hard, debuting their new remix of Escort’s “Cocaine Blues”. Umphrey’s keyboardist Joel Cummins even came out and threw down on a jam.
Friday – June 27th -
Friday brought the festival in to full bloom. Ms. Lauryn Hill’s set started a bit later than expected, but the former Fugee delivered a performance like none other. Belting out songs with such swagger and confidence, one couldn’t help but think “Damn, she’s foxy.” The soulful performer delivered a tasty mix of originals, Fugee hits, and Bob Marley classics.
The String Cheese Incident set the tone for the evening upon commencing the first of their six scheduled sets for the weekend. Starting off right out the gates with powerful, groovy “Colliding”, the crowd was overcome with an insatiable urge to dance. Afterwards on a nearby stage, STS9 performed a super- spatial set that transported the audience into a dream world. The vibrant hues of the light show, cover of nighttime, and the chill vibes of the glowstick-covered crowd was the definition of bliss.
Closing the night strong, Umphrey’s McGee once again slayed the stage like no one’s business. The group ended a bit early but the crowd insisted on an encore. The band emerged to perform a three song encore which included a rendition of Pink Floyd’s hit “Time”.
Saturday – June 28th -
Saturday was HOT, in every sense of the word. The crowd seemed a bit mopey and sleepy from partying all night, but were soon up and working off their hangovers through Xavier Rudd‘s ancient ritual of dance. He impressively played a 12 string guitar while simultaneously playing didgeridoo, making guitar-and-harmonica seem like child’s play.
Saturday also saw a performance by a member of the Marley family, with Stephen “Regga” Marley featuring Ghetto Youths Crew. Stephen Marley saturated the crowd with classic Bob Marley hits, as well as a handful of originals, leaving nothing but positive vibes and smiles in his wake.
Later that night The String Cheese Incident performed a set which people are unsure really happened. During a rendition of the piece “Valley of the Jigg” the crowd became a part of an elaborate video game-infused rave party of sorts- complete with Mario-themed stage videos, Princess Peach rope dancers, giant inflatable question mark blocks, Pac Man ghosts, inflatable balls, fireworks, confetti, lasers and more. Anyone in the vicinity had their minds subsequently blown.
Upon leaving Electric Forest one cannot help but be overcome with the festival blues as they realize they must once again integrate with formal society. But never fear; Electric Forest will be back next year, only with new and improved tricks up their sleeves. So in the meantime, if you’re still in need of a healthy dose of bass, continue to have an insatiable urge to rage, and is looking for an unexplainable good time, mark your calendars for next year.
Sometimes getting back to ones roots is a great way to feel re-connected and rejuvenated with the music we love, that which is current in our lives and that which is no more. This past weekend I did a two-night run with Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9) and Umphrey’s McGee- two bands that got me started down the path I currently walk today. I love STS9 and always have because they just have that way to get raw and weird with it. On the other hand, Umphrey’s is not my favorite band. They used to be my jam but as years have passed, my interests dwindled to other things. I’ve lost touch with them as a band, but I went into it with a very open mind, wholeheartedly ready to feel what all my UMPHfreak friends go nuts for.
The Louisville Palace, a gem of a venue housed in what used to be an old Broadway theatre, was our destination for the evening and it was beautiful. The inside had vaulting ceilings adorned with carved faces of historical figures. Gold and red paint covered the walls and large staircases took patrons to the upper levels. The traditional theatre even had orchestral seating and a balcony with the ceiling boasting an imitation nighttime sky. Unfortunately, the security was pretty uptight at this show, considering the venue was probably half-full. Ticketholders absolutely had to stay in their exact designated seat.
Umphrey’s opened their tour with an intense “Push The Pig” > “1348”. Their lighting was on point the whole night and the sound was phenomenal. The set’s highlight was the “Triple Wide” they seamlessly blended back into 1348 to end the show. STS9 started on time after setting up their intense lighting arrangement known as The Pyramid by avid fans. They opened with an awesome “Ramone & Emiglio” > “Moonsocket” and kept the heat coming all night long. My favorite moment of this night was the encore when Jake Cinninger came out and sat in for an instrumental version of “Sympathy For The Devil”, after which Tribe killed it with “When The Dust Settles”.
When we awoke the next morning it was time to get the show on the road as we headed back to Indy for our hometown throw down.
I couldn’t have been more excited to reconnect with these bands in the very venue that I first experienced them in years ago. We arrived to STS9 just in time to hear some of my favorite classic Tribe songs. As we got beers and walked to our meeting point, they busted into “Equinox” >” EHM” > “Inspire Strikes Back”, all back-to-back heavy hitters that just make you wanna dance your ass off. Their set felt a lot longer than it was, ending things with “Hidden Hand, Hidden Fist” and “20-12”.
As quickly as STS9 were off, Umphrey’s was setting up against a beautifully backlit Indianapolis skyline. This venue always brings a smile to my face. It’s simple, it’s sweet, they don’t hassle you too much and you literally see every person you know in Indianapolis when you come to a show at WRSP. Umphrey’s closed their set with Dave Murphy sitting in on “Another Brick In The Wall”- the perfect way to end an amazing two-night run.
Friday was another stellar day and night full of music.
To see more photos, click here