STS9 at The Pageant – 03/14/2013
By: Casey Jones
St. Louis, MO – When I rolled into St. Louis on this brisk Thursday night I knew exactly what I was expecting. Having been on fire since the start of winter tour (their first proper, full length tour since 2010), I had no doubt that Tribe would deliver, and then some. Tribe fans can be notorious haters on the band at times, the main complaint being that they play the same set lists and don’t bust out the classic jams anymore. While you could look at virtually any show on the tour (besides the Buku and Snowball festivals) and put the haters to rest, This show was the perfect blend of old and new. It’s incredible to see how evolved their sound has become, the variety of textures. One thing is for sure though: it’s STS9.
Set one opened with the “Central” intro playing on the now-smaller pyramid light rig that debuted last year for the band’s Great Cycle Spectacle shows. When they had the full sized pyramid it sort of took away from the classic light shows that Tribe is known for. In addition to making the pyramid smaller they’ve brought back their classic light show to go with it. Those two together plus the mad scientist Saxton Walker controlling it all makes for one of the coolest/best stage setups you’ll ever see. When they finally stepped onto the stage no time was wasted and the unmistakable percussion intro to “Rent” began. This version had such high energy, energy that would be help up all the way to the finish. “ABCees” and
“20-12” followed and those trademark haters began to get worried until beautiful “By the Morning Sun” came out of nowhere. Smiles were seen all around the room while people just melted in the song’s glory. The ovation at the song’s conclusion was one of the loudest I’ve heard at any show in quite some time. The crowd got equally as jazzed during an awesome rendition of “And Some Are Angels…,” in which the piano playing of David Phipps was on fucking point! “Scheme Reprise” closed the first set and tore The Pageant down! While “Scheme” is hated on by a lot of die hard Tribe fans, “Scheme Reprise” is considered by many to be one of their best newer songs. It was a proper way to end the very diverse set and have the crowd wishing they could fast forward through set break.
“Vapors” kicked off set 2 but it was when “Dance” came on that the set quite literally popped off! When Murph laid down that funky-ass bass line, the raptor sway in full effect, I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I repeatedly shouted, “No Way? No?! No! NO!!!” with the most gleeful smile you could picture a human wearing. When the song sped up, everyone else followed suit, turning The Pageant into a wild tornado that could only be stopped with the music. “Kabuki” followed next. Though it’s not the same as the original, the new, dancier version still features that beautiful guitar that makes it both an instant classic and beloved fan favorite. Tribe is always evolving and they do a great job of maintaining the integrity of the original version while giving it a 2013 makeover.
One song that doesn’t need a makeover is “Monkey Music,” of which they played one of the dirtiest versions that I’ve heard in quite some time. The back-&-forth between Zach and Jeffree is always fun to watch and their chemistry was through the roof on this night. They closed out the set with “March”, “Hidden Hand, Hidden Fist” and “Inspire Strikes Back”. If the show would have ended right then, it still would have been great. But what’s a great show without a heady encore? You can’t much more heady or tribal than “Kaya”. Listening to that song gives me the feeling that I’m climbing a mountain; when you reach the top, that’s what “Kaya” sounds like. We all climbed the mountain with Tribe on this night and we all left feeling like champions.
And the triumph of this bout between the lovers and haters was a result of bust out after bust out. The Tribe love was apparent to everybody at The Pageant.