Sound Tribe and The Five Senses
By: Carolyn Widen
Sound Tribe Sector Nine is always quite an event, stimulating all senses and rejuvenating the mind. They played a two night set in Austin at the ACL Live Moody Theater. STS9 is also changing shape, and released "The Universe Inside" last summer as well as adding new members to the band in 2014. Even with the recent changes, the band still has a strong following and their show was just as exciting and well done as it was 8 years ago when I first saw them play a set in Milwaukee in 2009.
An STS9 show is an experience that will give you a sense of community. It allows groups of people to come together due to similar values, interests, and beliefs. There was a sense of communal joy from the crowd and little hostility on the floor. Much of this has to do with the way the band has kept its fans for years. Audience loyalty to the band is quite a phenomenon that seems to survive years of music fads. One can really feel the result of this loyalty at an STS9 show, and this feeling is part of the experience and why so many people come back. STS9 is much more than just a band playing music, but is an experience that takes you out of the mundane, menial aspects of our everyday lives.
There was a considerable crowd as I approached ACL Live, and even though there were tickets still for sale, the venue felt sold out. I went from the crisp night air into a whirlwind of color, smoke, and music. Seats did not stop the crowd from dancing, most people stood in enjoyment while only a few dazed kids sat, looking in awe of the show and most likely took some materials to enhance the show. The crowd at STS9 is a piece of art in itself. Trippy patterned pants littered the crowd along with smiling faces and moving bodies.
STS9 would not be STS9 without the amazing light and laser visuals that accompany their music. Every time I see sound tribe I forget just how special they really are. The lights are done with tact, never over the top and always nicely displayed. The colors are bright and complementary or nicely monochromatic.
The venue consists of many different levels, creating a kind of flexibility in the crowd to move around as they pleased. This also allowed for the ability for people to change their perspective of the show, and also helped ensure you could fully see the band- as someone who is 5’2 this is very important!
As someone who has listened to STS9 since 2009, there was definitely something different about this show. They playedtheir new album which has much more of a ‘electric’ vibe. This show seemed to have much more upbeat influences versus downtempo, blues or jazz. My favorite part of the night was the last few songs, where they creatively mixed in classic hip hop with classic STS9. It was truly amazing and such a seamless mix! They did Still Dre and Tupac, welcome to Cali. Not many people seemed to catch on to the remix, yet, those who did were excited.
Channeling The Inner Tribe
By: Rob Carr
Santa Cruz/Georgia natives STS9 or Sound Tribe as most fans would call them, took the stage of ACL Live in the Moody Theatre for two consecutive nights and left the crowd nothing short of astonished. Known for their lights, sounds, and good vibes, STS9 did not disappoint with two nights of sold out shows and pure psychedelia. They not only brought funk, and rock with them, but the soul this band provides is unlike any other.
Packing nearly every venue they go to, Sound Tribe is one of the most intimate and soulful groups I have had the pleasure of seeing. From the mezzanine all the way to the floor, there was no person left not dancing. The band is very active on stage and continually keeps the crowd involved throughout their entire show. Well known for their 3 or more hour long sets, STS9 was able to pack all of their best songs in to only about half of that time.
Starting off the night, we had Sunsquabi opening the show. The group based out of Boulder Co, offer up the same funky rhythms and vibes we are used to seeing with STS9, we knew that we were in for a treat this evening. While being able to view the show from all different points of the venue, Sobre Sound was able to truly capture the essence of what each band had to offer their fans. The last night in particular was one for the books with almost every single seat in the venue full.
As the night ended, and only a few more shows left in the groups tour they really gave the crowd every ounce of their energy. STS9’s reputation for unfathomable groovy beats was only preceded by their undeniable love for the music and the scene in which they play. They are truly a sight to see for any and all ages young and old. For many reasons, this is why they will continue to be a corner stone in the funk and EDM world.