By: Aaron Gi
A brief 16-hour drive from Chicago followed by an all day nap and it was already time to hop a cab over to the prolific Fillmore Auditorium. Doors were at 7:00 P.M. and it was a brisk night on the 29th of December in Denver. Music started at 8:00 and we made it to the doors around 8:15. The place was majestic to say the least, walking in to what looked like an old-school roller skating rink lined all around with beautiful pink chandeliers. The dance floor was slightly lowered from the level that we walked in at and it seemed to go back at least 100 yards.
When we walked in 1320 Record’s very own Project Aspect was already throwin’ down some dirty bass heavy beats. He definitely brought up the crowd energy with his unique style bass music, which personally made me feel like I was listening to up-tempo glitch dubstep recorded underwater. His melodic synth heavy almost bubbly sounding music definitely got the crowd bumpin’ and I don’t know if anyone was getting down harder than Project Aspect himself. It’s always great to see an artist who is so passionately vibing to their own music. After about an hour long set Project Aspect left the stage to an ovation and a loudly cheering crowd.
At this point in the night the anticipation rose to new heights as ragers packed the dance floor in hopes of an STS9 throw-down for the ages. The floor never seemed over crowded or too packed and I was on the rail antsy and ready for a spectacle. Finally, the lights came down, my stomach dropped, and the moment everyone was waiting for came upon us.
The band came out to screams and a synth build up that brought energy up to a peak height. Saxton Waller’s notorious rig lit the place up with LED’s and lasers and the epic get-down began. Bassist David Murphy welcomed the vast Denver crowd and exclaimed,“let’s do this thang proper!” I don’t think anyone realized how proper it really was going to be.
The band opened with a short but sweet tease of “Breathe In”, it seemed from the initial moment guitarist Hunter Brown started playing the vibe relaxed and satisfaction overtook the enitre auditorium, we were in for a wild ride. They smoothly transitioned into a ten and a half minute “Monkey Music” which really got people rowdy. The drumming and percussion in the beginning of that song just sounds like a party. Murph was dictating the energy of the whole place and he was ready to get after it. From that point on it was truly a celebration.
“Mobsters”>”Surreality”>”EB” into an absolutely glorious ”Empires” that brought the vibe back down to a calm relaxed state and had the crowd completely engrossed in the performance. When Tribe is zoned in like that I can’t help but feel completely at home. They closed out the first set with “Be Nice”>”We’ll Meet In Our Dreams”>”Tokyo” and ended with a “Frequencies 2 > 3” that left everyone flabbergasted and hungry for more.
After about a 45 minute set break everyone the lights came back down and everyone scrambled to the dance floor with drinks in hand, the people were ready to rage on. They came out with the classic “Really What?” to make sure we were really ready, and they jammed on that for about eight minutes, next was another timeless track “Music, Us” it brought everyone into a state of peace and cheers arose from the front to back as the sampled vocals sang “Love is all we’ll ever need” while gloriously coinciding with Murph’s funky bass line and Hunter’s fat riffs, it really was a beautiful moment. That played out and they struck up into an “Evasive Maneuvers” and suddenly it was a dance party again, this is when shit got real. They perfectly transitioned that into a short “Kamuy” to keep people grooving for about three minutes. The song reached a bridge with a Jeffree Lerner bongo solo, and out of nowhere a familiar tune came around the corner. A cover from Sound Tribe is always a pleasure, let alone a Rolling Stones cover, “Sympathy for the Devil” is just a classic uplifting jam; it definitely brought tears to my eyes. With everyone chanting “Woo, Woo” in unison to the chorus it seemed to bring the whole place together and the atmosphere was sheer glory. After that was yet another bust-out, “King Pharoah’s Tomb” the reggae chords with the wild guitar loops, and fat percussion lines were just amazing, at this point everyone around knew we had just been treated by the Tribe.
“F. Word”>”Grow”>”Moon Socket” and everyone was dancing there booties off into a magnificent ”So It Goes” to close out set two with a very tranquil vibe. They came back out to a massive ovation and encored with a “Some Sing” that had everyone raging on their feet with whatever energy they had left. They ended the night with the full “Breathe In” which seemed to be a theme of the show, left in awe from such a remarkable set we needed to be reminded to breath. It was a beautiful ending to an absolutely spectacular spectacle. They left the stage and even after almost three hours of music it still didn’t seem like enough.
People left the auditorium immediately looking up the set-list and everyone involved felt a sense of accomplishment, after a concert like that it’s hard not to. This was probably the best STS9 performance I have ever experienced, and leaving the venue I heard many Tribe Head’s speaking of their new found faith in the band. It was truly a night to remember, thanks to CID, The Fillmore Auditorium, Project Aspect, STS9, and the picturesque crowd for one of the greatest nights of 2012, we definitely raged on.