Review: Sound Tribe Sector 9 at the Fillmore Auditorium, 1/13/11

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Somewhere toward the end of the first set, STS9's Zack Velmer and Jeffree Lerner took the reigns on drums and percussion for a monumental, LED temple-constructing percussive solo that left the auditorium in complete disarray. If the crowd left on that note, it would be a safe bet that STS9 gave everyone their money's worth, but truthfully, that was only the beginning of several awe inspiring moments for the opening night of "The Great Cycle Spectacles" tour.

Via the social networks, Tribe advertised that the show would be starting promptly at 8 p.m. and that everyone should arrive on time. Whereas STS9 was only about 30 minutes late, the venue erupted upon its arrival to the stage. Before we even heard a bass slap or key stroke, we were all welcomed with a computerized female voice, displayed on the LED screen as a wave frequency, telling us of the possibilities of life outside our galaxy -- and that we should welcome it.

Opening strong with "Vapors," David "Murph" Murphy's bass could be felt at the back of the venue, feeling almost as if you were constantly being blown up on your cell phone with an incessant vibration of text messages forewarning of an earthquake. From the moment they picked up the instruments to the encore song, each track was welcomed with violent happiness as fans picked up on the song not even three chords into it.

More photos: STS9 at the Fillmore

This is the rabid fan-base that follows Tribe, though, and while some people enjoy going to concerts, Tribe fans tend to take it very personally when a certain song is played. It's like the highest level of loyalty achievable in the music world. You hear "I've seen Tribe 56 times, and they played a song for me on the 50th," or, "Yeah, the New Year's run was good for the first two nights, but the second two were really just on par with the 2011 tour -- post region of course." It's almost ridiculous how huge the group has become, until you actually attend one of its shows. When you feel the energy emitting from the stage, you recognize the appeal.

The first set dwindled in the middle, keeping the crowd entranced and anticipating whatever songs the group chose to pull out of its decade spanning catalogue. "Breathe In," and "Circus," both highly anticipated tracks, uplifted the earlier portion of the show, but it wasn't really until "Arigato," a heavy-on-the-synth track that utilizes a vocal sample like it's an instrument, that everyone started losing their shit.

The opener of "Kamuy" led into the unbelievable drum solo, then segued into "The Fog," which saw Murph and guitarist Hunter Brown sitting face-to-face on the dim lit stage.

The set closer came in the form of a regenerated "Kamuy," and we were then all thrust back into the trance of the digitized female voice explaining the importance of us and the music. And that was just the first set.

More photos: STS9 at the Fillmore

Starting the second set on a slow note, "Scheme" was bubbly and peppy, reviving any straggling souls that may have lost track during the set break. "The Spectacle," like the previous set openers, was spirit-lifting and showed more of the talent out of the percussion and drum sections. "Grizzly" crept its way into "Moonsocket," a track from the early 2000's that has maintained it's credibility as one of the favorite Tribe fan tracks.

More photos: STS9 at the Fillmore

"F Word," started off the encore section with a rising synth and samplings of midi horns, as well as spotlighting Brown's fret work later in the track. The ultimate closer, the gran final if you will, was a rendition of "Aimlessly," off of one their recent releases, and it closed the night out perfectly preparing everyone for tonight.

First Set List: (Pyramid Narration) Vapors Looking Back on Earth Journey Point Breathe In Circus Rabble Simulator Journey Point Arigato Kamuy>>> Drum Solo>>> The Fog>>> Kamuy (Pyramid Narration)

Second Set List: (Pyramid Narration) Scheme>>> Rent Abcees>>> The Spectacle Journey Point Grizzly>>> Moonsocket March Economic Hit Man (Pyramid Narration/Encore) F Word Aimlessly

>Critic's Notebook:

Personal Bias: With all the hype, I was expecting my balls to blow out my ass due to sensory overload. Needless to say, my testicles were still intact this morning.

By The Way:The pyramid lighting was cool and not overplayed, like most lighting rigs.

Random Detail:Game7 played Quixotes for the unofficial after party, and it's going down again tonight.

More photos: STS9 at the Fillmore

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