At the beginning of this month I was stoked to help cover the STS9 at The Palladium in Hollywood. Not only have I not seen Sound Tribe in years, I have never been to The Palladium before and heard it was a great venue. We arrived just after Tycho’s set and just as the guys were revving up their first set of the night. The lighting design was on point and I could already see the huge grins worn by the people grooving to STS9’s jamtronica sounds of the evening.
The night was building up as “Hidden Hand Hidden Fist” played. Hunter Brown’s smooth groovy guitar pierced The Palladium air as Jeffree Lerner got the place bouncing to his organic percussion beats. I was soon aware of Phipp’s breakdowns and buildups on the keyboard as Murphy gave us some funky sexy bass during “Looking Back on Earth.” The spacey sounds of Sound Tribe’s tracks along with the featured visualizer of rocket ships and comets hurtling through the atmosphere really made you feel like you were being transported into another galaxy.
The first set winded down with huge synth sounds, rolling snares, and accented high harmonic notes during EHM. How something can sound that pretty and badass at the same time is beyond me. At intermission attendees packed themselves like sardines in a tin can in the smoking patio; filling the area with smoke, laughter, and non-sensical ramblings.
Once we got back inside the funk was in full effect with the track Bigs and the 808s were cranked up towards the end to give a little trap flavor to STS9’s set. There is nothing like hyphy original trap to get you pumped up for the rest of your night. Their next track “GLOgli” gave some smooth blues and R & B soul as sultry vocals swept the track up in a flurry and Murphy started taking his bass for a long walk. The synth buildups drove the song up to space and back down to orbit once again until I heard them lead up into their next song which sounded strangely similar…
They started playing their own version of Daft Punk’s “Robot Rock” and the whole crowd went crazy. Un-abandoned recognition filled the air as people were jumping to the robotic vocals. The track moved fluidly into the next song which kept up the hyped energy, that is until The Palladium had a power shortage and abruptly cut the song in two. People were a little unnerved that the power cut out during such a joyous song, and I found it a perfect break to go and grab a beer.
The line was surprisingly short, although I suppose other fans were waiting in anticipation for the song to pick back up. As soon as I was next in line, the guys from STS9 apologized profusely and started playing March right where they left off, like nothing ever happened. I found myself tapping my feet while waiting impatiently in line to join the crowd, who were raging out to the song
The rest of their set was filled with a range of sounds, including their signature full synth builds, funky groves, wailing guitar, and fluid percussion beats. You could definitely feel that the members of STS9 have been playing shows together for quite some time. Their ability to groove together and pick up where each other left off was smooth like butter. I found myself at the end of the night yearning for more live grooves and preparing my patience for their new album and next return.
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