After weekend one of Coachella, we were yearning for more music so we committed ourselves to a trip to the Bay Area for an excellent celebration with the electronic jam-band that is STS9. It was great to be back with the tribe of followers that they have garnered since their formation over a decade ago. After witnessing their late-night to sunrise set on the farm at Bonnaroo last year, it was certainly a different, yet equally satisfying experience. Last weekend, the beautifully decorated Fox Theater Oakland complete with the STS9 “Great Cycle Spectacles” setup on stage was ours for the taking. Read on after the jump for the full review and set list!
We could feel summer creeping during that Friday and there couldn’t have been a better way to end it than with a lively set from the cosmic group. With everyone in good spirits and excited to get the weekend started, the band certainly responded to the energy with danceable beats and flowing grooves laden with synth and guitar melodies executed with precision. Not to mention the unbelievable percussion from Jeffree Lerner. Our highlights of the night included an ever so appropriate cover of the famed “Shakedown Street” by the Grateful Dead, a moving rendition of their hit “Circus,” and the resurfacing of the “T.W.E.L.V.E.” which they hadn’t played since 2007. The awesome party had only just begun as we left night one with the comforting thought of embarking on another journey with STS9 the next night.
Saturday began with my meeting of a long-time STS9 fan who spoke of his not only good, but “specific feeling” for the night. The optimism added to the chilled-out Bay Area vibes and we knew we were in for another great one. With a more crowded floor, the dancing resumed with the great opening selection of “20-12.” Smiling faces completely lost in the music/reality-altering visuals could be seen all around. STS9’s wide-variety of sounds are brought out in every set, but I was impressed by each members’ prowess at their instrument. This was showcased when the drummer, Zach Velmer, performed a mind-blowing solo and the keyboardist, David Phipps, played “Piano Peace” with the psychedelic visuals of a human brain and falling particles as his backdrop. The tracks, “Move My Peeps” and “Vapor,” were favorites of the night, among the many other powerful masterpieces.
The two-night run of the “Great Cycle Spectacles” exceeded expectations and left me asking myself “when is the next time I will be able to see them again?” I certainly look forward to the many more times to come.
Check out a fan video from night two of “Move My Peeps”
Setlist: 4/20/2012 – Fox Theatre – Oakland, CA
Set 1: ABCees > When The Dust Settles, Hidden Hand Hidden Fist, F. Word, T.W.E.L.V.E.*, Shakedown Street, EHM, Aimlessly**, GLOgli, Circus
Set 2: MOD > Grow, March***, Tooth, the Unquestionable Supremacy of Nature
Encore: King Pharaoh’s Tomb, Scheme Reprise
* First time played since 3/17/2007
** Included a ‘Nautilus‘ tease
Setlist: 4/21/2012 – Fox Theater – Oakland, CA