STS9: We’ll Meet In Our Dreams Run (12/31 -1/3) – The Fillmore Auditorium Denver
The year 2015 started in the most whimsical of ways for those fortunate enough to find ourselves ringing in the New Year by dancing to the otherwordly sounds of STS9 at The Fillmore Auditorium in Denver. Tribe fans from all over the country and beyond made the journey to the below freezing temperatures of Colorado to ring in a New Dawn, New Day with phenomenal lighting design, STS9 family and unarguably some of the best live music of our generation.
This New Year’s 4 night run was fittingly titled “We’ll Meet In Our Dreams”, perpetually setting the atmosphere to be a fanciful affair. It also simultaneously evoked a strong sense of anticipation in fans to hear the rare gem of a song “We’ll Meet In Our Dreams” at least once during the week.
The end of this run actually marked the band’s 20th show at The Fillmore Auditorium, which is really quite amazing when you look at the stats: by the end of the weekend Tribe had played at the venue for nearly 70,000 people over 350 songs in more than 55 hours on that stage. There were openers every night (except for the night of the VIP dinner on January 1st), but it was evident that the majority of the crowd had tunnel vision for Sound Tribe Sector 9.
The beloved band took the stage with newest member Alana Rocklin on the stand up bass (which was taller than her) and slowly began with soothingly climatic “Summit”. Alana switched back to her usual electric bass halfway through the song as the crowd wildly cheered her performance…the band then really began to jam out for the rest of the song’s duration. Holding the crowd’s every bit of attention, Tribe moved onto “Click Lang Echo” that transitioned into “Moonsocket”, then NYE appropriately enough played “New Dawn New Day” into “Move My Peeps” then into “Kaya”. “Kabuki” came next.
The band closed the first set with “Jebez” where they finally teased “We’ll Meet In Our Dreams” for the first time of the New Year’s run. The tease was so smoothly and sneakily thrown in there that it was actually kind of hard to recognize. I felt a sense of both anticipation and disappointment when they cut it short, and moved right back into Jebez: disappointment, because I wanted to hear a long dramatic version of the song, anticipation, because I knew it would come eventually.
STS9 returned to the stage with a certain frequency obviously in mind as they played “Frequencies DnB” transitioning into “Frequencies Peace 2” then into “Frequencies Peace 3”.
Moments into the New Year crept closer and closer as Tribe played a long and largely energetic “Inspire Strikes Back”, which has always held a sense of urgency. The song transitioned into an epic 2015 countdown complete with confetti falling from the chandeliers on the ceilings as well as kisses and huge being exchanged amongst the crowd; this then transitioned into the beautifully mysterious “Music, Us”. That particular choice of song reminded the crowd that love is all we’ll need in this new year.
The band continued through “Life’s Sweet Breath”, “March”, “Water Song”, “Scheme”, “Evasive Maneuvers” and “Potamus”. They closed out the second set with a rockin’ Kamuy”, but the crowd wasn’t ready to stop dancing. Everyone stayed glued to their spots cheering and screaming, as if intuitively knowing STS9 would take the stage once more for an encore. And encore they did with upbeat “Squares and Cubes” transitioning into soothing “By The Morning Sun.”
The New Year started out extra fancy for the 600 Tribe fans that were lucky enough to acquire tickets to the VIP STS9 Conscious Alliance dinner. The entire Auditorium transformed into a classy evening, complete with a chef-prepared dinner, champagne toasts and an open bar. I’ve been to over 30 Tribe shows in my life, but never have I seen so many dapper fans all in one place in my life; the crowd truly came dressed to impress.
After everyone finished eating, the band took the stage for an intimate performance. There was no prior set list made, creating a completely raw and rare performance. The band thanked the crowd for being open minded before they started jamming and let us know that they “just wanted to be free”.
Indeed, free and beautiful STS9 was as the improved an entire and rare set:
SETLIST: A Beautiful Chaos (Improv) > Peace One (Improv) >
Pianoir Outro (Improv), Modular (Improv), Drum & Bass (Improv) > Black Satin (Improv) > Dub (Improv) > Something in E (Improv)
It’s a genuinely novel experience to eat a fancy dinner with 600 members of your Sound Tribe family including the band themselves, then to listen to your favorite band play such a rare and improvised set. Making this night even more special was the knowledge that its proceeds benefited Conscious Alliance, an organization that goes above and beyond to feed those in need and bring the gift and music and art to underprivileged children.
The fancy tables and elegant wine glasses from the night before were stashed away and the crowd was back to being dressed as colorful as usual for the next night of Tribe. Also a major switch from the more acoustic and completely improvised night before, STS9 opened with newer, more electronically influenced “Metameme”, which was still absolutely incredible. They continued on with “Grow”, “Oil & Water”, “4 Year Puma”, then “Trinocular” transitioned into “Vibyl”.
Sound Tribe closed out the first set of the third night with “Nautilus”, which transitioned into the second half of joyously eerie “Aimlessly”, then onto the smooth and jazzy “Crystal Instrument”.
“World Go Round” into “Totem” started out the second night, a pairing that had been making many appearances throughout 2014. During “Mobsters” Tribe surprised the crowd by sneaking in a beautiful cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Too High” in the middle of the song. They went on to play gorgeously mysterious classic “GLOgli”, then “Breathe” pt. 1, then the ending of “Abcees”, on to “Walk to the Light” then closed with crystally “Rilly Wut”.
It wouldn’t be a full tribe set without at least one encored song, so this time the band came back with a chillingly dream-like “Phoneme”. Both sets of all three nights were fulfilling and gorgeous, but the band intentionally left some to be desired as a full “We’ll Meet In Our Dreams” had yet to be played.
The last and final night of an epic 9 run ended in the most special way possible: Tribe opened with “Epirus”, which immediately transitioned into the achingly anticipated “We’ll Meet In Our Dreams”. That WMIOD was a full, long version and mightily powerful with all members in sync and instruments full speed ahead.
Old time favorite “Arigato” came on next, then “Blu Mood”, then “Peoples”, then “Love Don’t Terrorize”, then “The Rabble”. An up-beat “Ramone and “Emiglio” closed the last night’s first set out.
Tribe returned for the second set with the haunting “Shock Doctrine”, then energetic “Instantly”, then “Hubble”. They then played a Sub-ID remix of “One a Day”; Sub-ID is actually the band Alana Rocklin played with prior to joining STS9, keeping it true to her roots.
“Circus” came next and got the crowd going wild as it always does with its wildly happy rhythm. Next came “Rent”, which had a little “Sweet Dreams” in the middle.
The night was ended with a particularly long and fulfilling encore, a fitting fashion to close out spectacular four-night run. The band took the stage playing “Grizzly”, then moved on to a breath-taking, almost haunting “…And Some Are Angels”, which flawlessly transitioned into the ending of beautiful “Breathe In”.
Four nights in a row and nearly 1,000 miles may seem like quite a bit of time to dedicate to one band, but I would have traveled further and caught even more nights if it came down to it. As I’m writing this, reminiscing, and reliving the magic of 4 nights of my favorite band I’m reminded of my favorite “Almost Famous” quote:
“They don’t even know what it is to be a fan. Y’know? To truly love some silly little piece of music, or some band, so much that it hurts.”
[All photos used in the article by: aLIVE Coverage]