The ‘EDM bubble’ may be bursting, but Pretty Lights remains a beacon of hope at the Santa Barbara Bowl

Pretty LightsBy Josh Herwitt //

Pretty Lights (Live) with Big Wild, Chris Karns //
Santa Barbara Bowl – Santa Barbara, CA
November 10th, 2016 //

Amid the myriad of tragedies that the music industry has endured in 2016, one of the major talking points has been the future of electronic dance music. EDM, as the kids like to call it these days, experienced a meteoric rise just a few years ago as laptops replaced turntables and guitars, transforming DJs into music’s newest and biggest rock stars with multimillion-dollar residencies in Las Vegas and headlining slots at music festivals all around the world.

But in the last eight months, the genre’s sustainability has started to be called into question, with several media outlets predicting that the EDM boom will soon come crashing down. One well-known music website, for instance, published an in-depth look at EDM’s demise back in April, already declaring it a thing of the past with a title like “Popping the Drop: A Timeline of How EDM’s Bubble Burst.” Soon after, LA Weekly followed suit, continuing the conversation with their own piece on why an industry worth $6.9 billion only a year ago has fallen so fast. Of course, it should also be noted that Forbes was the first to tap into the subject, exploring how the proliferation of EDM festivals in the U.S. hasn’t always equaled massive payouts for some concert promoters.

Still, for a culture born out of the UK’s underground rave scene, it shouldn’t be too surprising to hear that the EDM business has reached its ceiling. From simply a spectators’ point of view, watching someone entertain an audience with a computer and a mixer can only be engaging for so long, even if the song selection and stage production are superb (it can also depend on if any mind-altering substances were ingested at the time). That’s not to say dance music can’t or won’t survive. As oversaturated as the market is right now, there will always be a thirst for music that can make you move — it’s more that the genre will continue to evolve in new and different ways. And if there’s one electronic artist whom others should look to for inspiration, it’s unquestionably Pretty Lights.

Pretty Lights

Praised by legendary record producer Rick Rubin as “the face and voice of the new American electronic music scene,” Derek Vincent Smith started out making music under his Pink Floyd-inspired moniker with his close friend and frequent collaborator Michal Menert more than a decade ago. But unlike so many of his contemporaries, the Colorado native was carving his own path in his early 20’s. Influenced by hip-hop groups from the Beastie Boys and A Tribe Called Quest to Wu-Tang Clan and The Roots, Smith got his big break opening for jam bands like Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9), The Disco Biscuits and Widespread Panic at their late-night, after-party shows. Employing a colorful patchwork of hip-hop breakbeats and soul samples to build the foundation for his tracks, Smith’s process as well as his music in many ways felt like an extension of the classic trip-hop that DJ Shadow pioneered in 1996 with his seminal debut LP Endtroducing….. and RJD2 (read our interview with him here) later furthered on his initial studio album Deadringer.

Pretty Lights’ rise to stardom didn’t happen overnight. Releasing his music for free on his own record label Pretty Lights Music, it took years for Smith to build the worldwide following that he has today. Yet, what has always made him more than just merely a “DJ” or a “producer” is his propensity for incorporating live instrumentation into his live performances. By the time he began touring in 2007, he had enlisted drummer Cory Eberhard to join him for a run that would eventually include important U.S. festival appearances at Coachella and Ultra in 2010. Smith would go on to replace Eberhard with Adam Deitch, and while Deitch’s commitment to his other projects (Break Science, Lettuce) has curtailed his involvement in more recent years, he served as a key ingredient during the recording sessions for 2013’s A Color Map of the Sun, which earned a Grammy nomination for Best Dance/Electronica Album.

Since then, Smith has made a conscious effort to bring other talented musicians into the fray. Touring with a live band for the first time in 2013 — something that few other EDM artists have done to this day — he quickly changed the way electronic music can be experienced live. Fast forward to last Thursday, and we were once again treated to an electrifying Pretty Lights show that was more than just Smith behind a pair of Macbook Pros and two Akai MPD32s. Making his debut at the majestic Santa Barbara Bowl, he once again showed why he isn’t your typical EDM act. With Chris Karns and Big Wild providing support, Smith hit the stage at 8 p.m. with his bandmates — Karns, Borham Lee, Brandon Butler and Alvin Ford, Jr. — and put on a show that dazzled both sonically and visually. What was most impressive, though, was seeing how much of the performance was improvised, as the band transitioned from one jam to another while dropping in a number of remixes here and there. And as I looked on from my seat in the stands, I couldn’t help but think about how much the show reminded me of all the times I’ve seen STS9 perform live. It only seemed fitting considering that the livetronia band helped give Smith his start back in the day, and with the “EDM bubble” about to burst (that is, if it hasn’t already), it’s hopefully an approach more electronic artists will gravitate toward in the future.

Setlist:
Still Night Jam
Maybe Tomorrow
Time Remix
One Day They’ll Know > ODESZA Remix > Break Science Remix
Let The World Hurry By
So Much In The Dark
More Important Than Michael Jordan
Bombay Bump
Total Fascination > Jam
Understand Me Now > Jam
Cold Feeling > Jam > Remix
There Is a Light
Jam
Where I’m Trying to Go tease
More Important Than Michael Jordan tease
I Can See It In Your Face > Jam
High School Art Class

STS9’s stunning live show transports their Bay Area fans to a magical world

STS9By Marc Fong //

STS9 //
Fox Theater Oakland – Oakland
January 29th, 2016 //

“Livetronic” act Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9) played more than just an awe-inspiring set at the Fox Theater Oakland last Friday, performing amidst a stellar light show that made the overall experience both ethereal and fantastic.

The last time the five-piece from Santa Cruz by way of Atlanta visited the Fox (read our review here), it was clear that bassist Alana Rocklin, who joined the band in early 2014, had sparked a creative revival for STS9 after the sudden departure of former bass player David Murphy.

STS9

STS9 offer a progressive dance beat that is both earthy and technologically-driven. In essence, their stunning live show transports an audience to a magical world filled with chill beats and booty-shaking rhythms.

The performance, which spanned more than three hours in length and featured no opening acts, included a 70’s-inspired light show that only added a layer of visual stimulation. After all, an STS9 show is something every live music fan should witness at least once in their life.

Set 1: MOD > Modular > MOD > Grow, Love Don’t Terrorize, Kaya > What Does Your Soul Look Like (DJ Shadow cover) > Click Lang Echo, Orbital, When the Dust Settles

Set 2: Walk to the Light, Hi-Key, Golden Gate > Looking Back on Earth, Totem, Awesome feat. Cool Kids (STS9 Remix) > The Unquestionable Supremacy of Nature, Rent

Encore: You Don’t Say

20 moments we won’t forget from Treasure Island Music Festival 2015

Post_header_TIMF_2015Photos by Marc Fong // Written by Mike Frash, Molly Kish & Anthony Sanchez //

Treasure Island Music Festival //
Treasure Island – San Francisco
October 17th-18th, 2015 //

There is no question Treasure Island Music Festival has one of the best locations and views in live music.

But Mother Nature had some things to say about the environment around the fest this year. For one, the drought has chased away the lovely grass that’s been present in years past. And with winds from 10-20 mph, it got a bit more dusty than usual. You can’t control the weather, and the grounds this year were a brutal reminder of how much California needs some damn rain.

Other than that, it was status quo for the Festival in the Bay — good times and no festy FOMO. Here are 20 moments and sets that will be ingrained in our brains.

TIMF2_TI_101815_mFong 107

The biggest news from Treasure Island Music Festival: The National have emerged as true festival headliners. Known for their pensive lyrics and sorrowful tone, The National injected their songs with accelerated BPM and an uplifting layering of melody, making the experience all the more magnificent. The setlist was still heavy on Trouble Will Find Me and High Violet songs, but it all felt new, more grateful, inspiring and majestic than before. Many of the highlights were one-offs and new cuts: Laura Mayberry duetted with a very present Matt Berninger on “I Need My Girl”, a cover of “Peggo-O” and with a shout-out to Bob Weir and new song “Checking Out” (it was called “Roman Candle” when they played it in Los Angeles earlier in the weekend). The effort was A1 all around, and we left wanting more.


Run The Jewels

Run the Jewels completely reigned over the crowd, flowing over heavy-hitting beats by El-P with a lively performance we all expected, willing all hands in the air. Yet another example of El Producto and Killer Mike bossing, per usual.


Father John Misty

Father John (Sassypants) Misty has his festival game on point, and he has progressed his I Love You Honeybear songs into epic plateaus since premiering them in the Santa Cruz mountains last February (read about it here). He spewed banter like an Stephen Colbert-esque contrarian, saying, “Look at these suckers with their hair blowing all over the place.” And as he approached the mic for more improv-snark later on, Tillman paused to say, “Sorry, I have nothing to say. Ha.” FJM was speechless for once, but granted, it might have been set up for “Bored in the USA”, a song that should be considered an American classic at this point.


FKA Twigs

Easily one of the most opinion-generating sets of the weekend, FKA twigs left everything she had on the Bridge Stage for a captive audience of conflicting critics. Washing over the sizable crowd backed by dramatic stage lights and eerily haunting vocals, the pint-sized powerhouse tangoed her way through a fog-laced set alongside fellow voguing backup dancers and band. Even with her set pushing the avant-garde limits for a good portion of the TIMF crowd, FKA twigs undoubtedly left an impression on everyone in attendance and held her own as headliner support in a considerably stacked bill.


The War on Drugs

Giving the last performance in support their already-classic Lost in the Dream, The War on Drugs end an album cycle with a few questions in mind. Can they get better from here, and could they headline festivals next time around?


TIMF2_TI_101815_mFong 103

Panda Bear delightfully assaulted the festival-weary crowd’s senses with a mind-melting IDM exclamation point. He treated his crowd to one last collectively-uncomfortable group moment, brought on by delightfully weird music and intense background visuals designed by Danny Perez.


Chvrches

Fresh off the release of their second studio album, CHVRCHES‘ Lauren Mayberry commanded the stage with a palpable enthusiasm and chops of a veteran frontwoman. Her epic vocals cut through the encroaching fog as she danced wildly around the Bridge Stage.


Ex Hex

Ex Hex served up the best shred-dueling guitar moment during their amazing mid-day slot on Sunday.


Hudson Mohawk

Hudson Mohawke demonstrated the kind of talent and energy that keeps him on speed dial for the likes of Drake and Kanye West, firing off club bangers in a set replete with custom lighting and live drummers.


Gorgon City

Armed with a full roster of touring vocalists, the UK electronic duo Gorgon City blew the Saturday afternoon crowd away with soulful renditions of “Unmissable” and “Real”. Set highlights including numerous extended versions of crowd favorite album cuts and easily the best midday dance party of the weekend, spurred by an audience-rousing rendition of “Here for You”.


Viet Cong

Viet Cong‘s Matt Flegal mentioned, “We had Sunday afternoons in mind when we wrote this stuff” with juuuuust a dash of irony. Maybe “Sunday Afternoon” would be a solid choice for the group’s new name? Maybe not, but drummer Mike Wallace is the heartbeat of this excellent doom-indie act.


STS9

When you look at the TIMF 2015 lineup, Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9) is the fish out of water with their jam-band roots. But Sound Tribe got the love from a dance-happy crowd on Saturday, one that was there largely for the mau5.


Big Grams

Big Grams impressed with their live debut to close out the Tunnel Stage on Saturday. How could the combo of Big Boi and Phantogram not bring the fire? Plus, Run the Jewels guested for “Born to Shine”.


Baio

Vampire Weekend bassist Baio and his early-riser electronic set was replete with a Eurythmics cover “Here Comes the Rain Again”.


Cashmere Cat

Cashmere Cat (pictured above) breezed through an electrifying set of R&B-infused trap sensations while Bob Moses set the tone on Saturday, moving the crowd as they watched the projected overcast clouds head back over to SF, leaving the island awash in sunshine and vibes.


Jose Gonzalez

Jose Gonzalez stretched out his best hits with multiple drummers and an idyllic TIMF sound for the festival’s second day. You know a set is good when it goes by that quickly.


Shamir

Shamir (pictured above) showed sass and chops beyond his years — and why he’s a 2015 breakout act. Meanwhile, damn, Ought sure is proficient, and they unveil beauty through repetition and punk mentality. Their purposeful presence and pointed music makes you think their best is yet to come.


Deerhunter

Deerhunter‘s Bradford Cox talked about how he decided on the way over to the island that he wouldn’t play many songs, how he took ayahuasca on Saturday night in LA and he was surprised at how reserved the TIMF audience was. He said we were “polite like the Japanese.” Bradford, that’s what we call “respect” — and you’ve earned it. Those who expected lots of new material from the group’s wondrous new album, Fading Frontier, left the island bummed out. Others like myself, who got on the Bradford Cox express train without hesitation, enjoyed a wandering, masterful set that took cues from the sentiment of The War on Drugs as well as the psychedelic repetition of Panda Bear. Cox even thanked these two bands by name before wrapping up.

So, what were your favorite moments from TIMF 2015?

Treasure Island Music Festival drops 2015 set times

Treasure Island Music Festival 2015

Treasure Island Music Festival //
Treasure Island – San Francisco
October 17th-18th, 2015 //

Treasure Island Music Festival has released the set times for its 2015 edition, and festivalgoers can now start making arrangements for next weekend’s festivities.

Below is this year’s TIMF schedule, including the set times for the first-ever Blah Blah Blah Comedy Tent presented by Funny Or Die.

SATURDAY, October 17th

Music: Bridge Stage
9:25-10:55 p.m.: deadmau5
7:45-8:35 p.m.: FKA twigs
6:10-7:00 p.m.: STS9
4:35-5:25 p.m.: Run the Jewels
3:00-3:50 p.m.: Gorgon City
1:30-2:15 p.m.: Viceroy
Noon-12:45 p.m.: Skylar Spence

Music: Tunnel Stage
8:35-9:20 p.m.: Big Grams
7:00-7:40 p.m.: Hudson Mohawke
5:25-6:05 p.m.: Cashmere Cat
3:50-4:30 p.m.: Shamir
2:15-2:55 p.m.: Baio
12:45-1:25 p.m.: Bob Moses

Blah Blah Blah Comedy Tent presented by Funny Or Die
6:40-7:45 p.m.: Tim Heidecker, Jonah Ray, Jermaine Fowler
5:00-6:15 p.m.: Tim Heidecker, Jon Dore, Barry Rothbart, Max Silvestri
3:25-4:30 p.m.: Jonah Ray, Jon Dore, Max Silvestri, Barry Rothbart
1:55-2:55 p.m.: Hey™: An Afternoon with Kate Berlant and John Early

Silent Disco powered by Jukely
8:45-11:00 p.m.: Corey Sizemore
6:45-8:45 p.m.: Trackstar
4:30-6:45 p.m.: Gordo Cabeza
2:15-4:30 p.m.: Saqi
Noon-2:15 p.m.: Duffrey

SUNDAY, October 18th

Music: Bridge Stage
9:20-10:35 p.m.: The National
7:30-8:30 p.m.: Chvrches
5:50-6:40 p.m.: The War on Drugs
4:15-5:05 p.m.: Father John Misty
2:45-3:30 p.m.: Jose Gonzalez
1:20-2:00 p.m.: Mikal Cronin
Noon-12:40 p.m.: Ought

Music: Tunnel Stage
8:30-9:15 p.m.: Panda Bear
6:40-7:25 p.m.: Deerhunter
5:05-5:45 p.m.: Drive Like Jehu
3:30-4:10 p.m.: Lower Dens
2:00-2:40 p.m.: Ex Hex
12:40-1:20 p.m.: Viet Cong

Blah Blah Blah Comedy Tent presented by Funny Or Die
6:15-7:30 p.m.: Jerrod Carmichael, Chris Gethard, Michelle Wolf, Guy Branum
5:00-5:45 p.m.: Talk Show: The Game Show with Guy Branum & Special Guests
3:30-4:15 p.m.: With Special Guest Lauren Lapkus featuring Kate Berlant & John Early
1:45-3:00 p.m.: Jerrod Carmichael, Chris Gethard, Michelle Wolf, Jermaine Fowler
12:20-1:15 p.m.: Throwing Shade Podcast Live

Silent Disco powered by Jukely
8:00-10:00 p.m.: Janaka Selekta
6:00-8:00 p.m.: DJ Mancub
4:00-6:00 p.m.: Motion Potion
2:00-4:00 p.m.: Kimba
Noon-2:00 p.m.: Rachel Torro

Treasure Island Music Festival releases 2015 daily lineups

2015 Treasure Island Music Festival daily lineups

Treasure Island Music Festival //
Treasure Island – San Francisco
October 17th-18th, 2015 //

With the ninth annual Treasure Island Music Festival a little more than a month away, the two-day festival has released the daily lineups for its 2015 edition.

Above are the artists who are set to perform on Saturday and Sunday at this year’s fest.

Single-day GA and VIP passes will go on sale this Thursday, September 17th at 10 a.m. for $95 and $179.50, respectively. You can buy your single-day tickets here.

The perks of a VIP pass include a preferred viewing area next to the main stage, an exclusive tented lounge with a full bar, special restroom facilities as well as food concessions and additional amenities.

Meanwhile, single-day parking passes are now available for $45, and GA weekend passes can still be purchased for $169.50 along with VIP weekend passes for $315. For those driving to the festival, two-day parking passes cost $80.

Featuring an impressive lineup of music and its first-ever comedy tent in partnership with Funny or Die that will include 15 comedians over two days (the comedy lineup has yet to be announced still), Treasure Island Music Festival is sure to deliver once again in 2015. After all, it’s a big reason why TIMF is one of our eight California music festivals you won’t want to miss before the end of 2015.

So, if you’re already bursting at the seams to get back on the island for two days full of fun next month, make sure to relive the best and worst of 2014’s festival here.

Treasure Island Music Festival unveils 2015 lineup featuring headliners The National, Deadmau5

Treasure Island Music Festival 2015

Treasure Island Music Festival //
Treasure Island – San Francisco
October 17th-18th, 2015 //

After bringing Outkast and Massive Attack to the bay last fall, Treasure Island Music Festival has released the lineup for its 2015 edition — and it’s another doozy.

Taking over the island in mid-October, Brooklyn indie rockers The National and Canadian progressive-house producer Deadmau5 will headline the two-day festival, while Robyn (with La Bagatelle Magique), CHVRCHES, The War on Drugs, Azealia Banks, Father John Misty, STS9, Run the Jewels, Panda Bear, Gorgon City and Jose Gonzalez are just some of the other highlights on this year’s bill.

But don’t sleep on some other artists further down on the poster, including Atlanta five-piece Deerhunter, Norwegian producer/DJ Cashmere Cat, San Diego post-hardcore band Drive Like Jehu, Ty Segall contributor Mikal Cronin and Canadian post-punk outfit Viet Cong, which we had the pleasure of witnessing at Rickshaw Stop back in March.

Tickets go on sale this Thursday, June 11th here starting at 10 a.m. and include two-day GA passes for an early-bird price of $149.50 (before increasing to $169.50) as well as two-day VIP passes for $315.

In the meantime, you can relive the best and worst of 2014’s festival here.

Treasure Island Music Festival

Bassist Alana Rocklin is sparking a creative revival with STS9

STS92By Benjamin Wallen //

STS9 with Michal Menert //
Fox Theater Oakland – Oakland
November 22nd, 2014 //

Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9) returned to the Bay Area last Saturday to rock the Fox Theater Oakland with their high-energy, electronic-infused show.

To kick off the night, the Santa Cruz five-piece booked Colorado electronic producer Michal Menert, whose music pairs fairly well with STS9’s. Repping his label Super Best Records on his T-shirt and exhibiting a sound reminiscent of his childhood friend and colleague Derek Vincent Smith (aka Pretty Lights), Menert got the audience warmed up before STS9 hit the stage for three hours.

With STS9’s newest member Alana Rocklin driving home the bass, there was something about the band that felt different, yet strangely familiar. Having attended many STS9 shows before, this one felt a tad heavier on the electronic side than in previous years, but the quintet dialed it down a few times to transition into some rock jams that had me forgetting I was listening to STS9. As someone who toured with My Morning Jacket frontman Jim James during his 2013 solo tour, Rocklin’s command of her instrument, along with her stage presence, seemed to fuel the group’s path throughout the night.

STS93

The old Sound Tribe is still there, but the fresh format is sparking a creative revival — and you can hear it in the music. During STS9’s second set, drummer Zach Velmer and percussionist Jeffree Lerner broke out into a drum battle using a Cajon, a wooden percussion instrument, and a single drum. The flow and energy of the band’s rhythm section was a highlight for me, as I’ve never seen such a cool moment at a Sound Tribe show.

The crowd was friendly all around — hugs and happiness abound. With the band members smiling from ear to ear and spreading such good, happy energy throughout the venue, it reminded me of why I love seeing STS9 live. Even though we may never hear another token “What’s up, San Francisco?!?! How ya’ll feeling tonight?!?!” from former bass player David Murphy, Rocklin has far surpassed what I was hoping for in breathing a new, rich beam of light into one of my favorite bands.

Set 1: New Dawn New Day, Golden Gate, Ramone & Emiglio > Monkey Music, Poseidon, Walk to the Light, Frequencies Peace 2 > 3, World Go Round

Set 1: Dance > Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) > Dance, Vapors, Only Light Remains, Kamuy, Orbital > Hubble, Abcees > No Quarter (Led Zeppelin cover) > Abcees > No Quarter > Abcees

Encore: Circus

High Sierra returns to Quincy for its 24th edition

High Sierra Music FestivalBy Justin Halgren, Benjamin Wallen & Kory Thibeault //

High Sierra Music Festival //
Quincy, CA
July 3rd-6th, 2014 //

The latest edition of High Sierra Music Festival — the 24th installment, believe it or not — took place over the Fourth of July weekend in the mountains of Quincy and welcomed headliners Widespread Panic (two sets), Sound Tribe Sector 9, Lauryn Hill and Beats Antique to its main stage.

The four-day event also featured performances from a long, eclectic list of other talented acts, including Trampled By Turtles, Lord Huron, The Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Lettuce, Greensky Bluegrass, The Polish Ambassador and Thao & The Get Down Stay Down to name a few. With photographers manning the grounds, Showbams captured plenty of memorable moments from the holiday weekend.

STS9, Tycho see split scenes in Oakland

STS9_PostPhotos by Sam Heller // Written by Mike Frash //

STS9 with Tycho //
Fox Theater Oakland – Oakland
March 1st, 2013 //

Santa Cruz’s STS9 flowed through the Fox Theater Oakland Friday evening, delivering a couple sets that were heavy on newer material from their 2011 EP When the Dust Settles. The second set began with an unexpected treat; a horn section joined the electronic jam band for the first four songs of the second set.

More than any other live act, STS9 straddles the line between jam band and electronic act, but they usually defer to their live instruments. However, most members have a laptop nearby, and the second layer of the band on stage are on an elevated platform, as most big-name DJ acts are these days.

There was a duality to the night Friday, as rising SF-based Tycho had plenty of his own fans in attendance since he was the opening act. It seemed like Tycho would be a perfect opening act for STS9 based on both group’s musical output, but the bridge was never finished, as a surprising amount of concertgoers left before STS9 performed. This only gave more room for the Sound Tribe faithful to get down and celebrate live music.

Set 1: This, Us!, When The Dust Settles > Arigato, Beyond Right Now, T.W.E.L.V.E > Warrior, Metameme, Simulator

Set 2: Revolutions 1993*, End Titles*, Be Nice*, Firewall*, Golden Gate, Rent, Biggs >New Song, What is Love, Awesome, The Unquestionable Supremacy of Nature

Encore: By The Morning Sun, Scheme

*with horns

STS9 evolve time at The Fillmore Auditorium

STS9By Pete Mauch //

STS9 //
The Fillmore Auditorium – Denver
December 30th, 2012 //

STS9 continued their New Year’s Eve run, which they’ve dubbed “Time Within Evolving Living Vehicle Earth” (T.W.E.L.V.E.) in Denver, playing two sets of mind-melting material that pleased old and new fans alike. “Pulse” > “MOD” started off the night, and from the way STS9 delivered the opening sequence, the Denver crowd knew they were in for a treat.

Tribe then delivered two newer songs, “Golden Gate” and the title track off their newest EP When the Dust Settles. Both songs were executed perfectly. If older Tribe fans were getting a little worried that this was going be an all-new material set, a few songs later they dropped into a rare and downright awesome “Blu Mood”.

They dusted this gem off after a few years on the shelf, and in doing so, pleased many fans in attendance. The song drops into an atmospheric sounding “blu mood” that was full of blistering lead solos by guitarist Hunter Brown before the track leads to a more rhythmic tempo led by bassist David Murphy.

STS9

The second set started off with “Metameme”, which is a groove-oriented song that gives way to big breakdowns throughout. “Scheme Reprise” came next and is always welcomed in my set. It gets me amped up, especially when they busted out Daft Punk’s “Robot Rock”. “Move My Peeps” clocked in around 10 minutes and definitely deserved a close listen, along with “Instantly,” which instantly became one of my favorite Tribe songs.

STS9 is truly on top of their craft in being a live electronic act with real instrumentation, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I saw them in arenas soon. I sure hope they don’t, but they definitely deserve it.

Set I: Pulse, MOD, Golden Gate, When the Dust Settles, NIN Intro > Tooth, Blu Mood, Circus, Hidden Hand Hidden Fist, Rent

Set II: Metameme, Beyond Right Now, Scheme Reprise, Robot rock, Inspire Strikes Back, Move My Peeps, Shock Doctrine, Instantly, What Is Love?, Pulse

Encore: Equinox, Open E

STS9