STS9 creates sonic frenzy 

Show Review

Sound Tribe Sector 9 with The Perceptionists
The Vogue
Tuesday, Feb. 15

As today’s modern music airwaves fill the sky with mass-produced, over-commercialized pop monotony, a growing fan-base begins to turn to a more progressive underground scene. One band in this scene, the instrumental California-based quintet Sound Tribe Sector 9, performed Tuesday night at the Vogue.

Kicking the night off, Boston-based hip-hop trio The Perceptionists opened with an energetic stage presence, hard-hitting beats and the question on everybody’s mind: “Where are the weapons of mass destruction?”

But it wasn’t until STS9 came out that the place truly became alive. STS9 opened with “ReEmergence,” a blossoming aura of electronic tranquility, combined with the tonic grooves of bassist Dave Murphy, drummer Zach Velmer and percussionist Jeffree Lerner. Guitarist Hunter Brown and keyboardist David Phipps provided a soothing, graceful melody as the band explored various elements of improvising and trance.

The band would go on for over two hours to captivate the crowd through a combination of free-form jazz, experimental funk, psychedelic trance and ambient electronica tunes. As the crowd danced themselves into a frenzy, I could not help but stand in awe at the group’s overall musicianship. There was a telepathy amongst them that could only be achieved through perfect band chemistry and a deep knowledge and understanding of what they are trying to accomplish with each song.

“Open E” and “Blu Mood” were the specials of the evening, highlighting the machine-like drumming of Zach Velmer and the soaring leads of Hunter Brown. Listening to STS9 on CD is great, but seeing them live and in concert is a completely different experience.

In a world that continues to be swallowed up by the great corporate monster, Sound Tribe Sector 9 stands up as one of the leaders of a movement that tries to bring life back into music.

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