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Tour Review: STS9

posted December 19, 2011, 10:09 am by Ben Oliver | Filed Under Editorial, General Interest, Live Show Reviews | comment Leave a Comment

Tags: STS9, Sound Tribe Sector Nine


Review, Photos, and Video Courtesy of Katie Covens

The world felt vacuous on Sunday morning. The air was strangely silent and stagnant. It was impossible to ignore the contrast between the halcyon morning and the preceding sonorous night. Beats were pulsing through my mind all throughout the following day. I’ve never had a wild music-filled night in downtown Dallas, quite like this one in November. The Saturday night was seemingly infinite, with the additional hour of daylight savings. It was a common question, amongst party-goers, whether it was the first midnight or the second midnight.

Sound Tribe Sector Nine(STS9) played a sensational show at House of Blues in Dallas. The band’s set had evolved to a new level since the last time I had seen them play at House of Blues in 2008. The stage was comprised of numerous screens, strobe lights, and amps. STS9 seems to be acknowledging a change in their audience demographic. The visuals speak to a younger electronic driven crowd. Not to say that STS9 hasn’t been known to use a lot of lights for their performances. However, I’d never seen them use lighting of this magnitude before. The band seems to be evolving with the electronic scene, meanwhile still maintaining their jam-band funk roots.

The smile on David Murphy’s face was larger-than-life. Murphy, who plays bass for the band, was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor back in January. He has since recovered. In fact, he appeared to be rejuvenated. David Murphy and Hunter Brown both played with enthusiastic animation continuously. It was awe-inspiring to watch them close their eyes and play poignant phrases back and forth. This is where STS9’s jazz influence shines through. When Murphy and Brown play conversational fragments, they somehow create an instrumental narrative of dueling instruments. One asks a question, the other answers. Jeffree Lerner, David Phipps, and Zach Velmer each performed flawlessly, which is to be expected. Lerner and Phipps both had their own solo moment during the show, which in my opinion, is extremely respectable. All members of a band deserve a few minutes of individual acknowledgement! Based on the stellar performance, I think it is safe to say that STS9 was genuinely excited to be back again.

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