Friday, September 13, 2013

STS9 @ Red Rocks Amphitheater - Morrison, CO - Sept 7th, 2013 - (Review)

An Official Banner for the Weekend Run
A Review By: Troy Manley

I was fortunate enough to be able to once again see Georgia natives, Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9), and what makes it even better, I would get to venture to world famous Red Rocks Amphitheater for the FIRST time in the process. After arranging with some friends in Loveland, CO, and some others back home in Sioux Falls, SD, the trip was planned and I was set to see STS9 for the 4th time this year. The boys inhabited Red Rocks for two nights, Sept 6th & 7th, 2013. Unfortunately I couldn’t make the Friday show, which had a monstrous set-list that is available for download via 1320 Record’s website: HERE

One "wall" of the Natural Amphitheater

Two friends and myself drove 10.5 hours overnight and made it to our friend’s town-home in the early hours of Saturday morning. Only catching a couple hours of sleep as to not miss out on all that Colorado has to offer, we scooted on out of the house and made our way up to Rocky Mountain National Park. It was my first time there and boy was it worth it – I highly suggest you visit if possible. After a long day of adventures we decided it was time to make our way to Red Rocks.

As we were rolling into Red Rock Amphitheater later on that afternoon I couldn’t help but be in awe of the beauty. Giant red rocks erecting out of the ground creating a natural amphitheater for our musical enjoyment - a gift from the gods. The parking situation isn’t all too  bad. We parked along the side of the road leading up to the South Lots which made for an easy escape. Once we arrived, we cracked open some beers and began to wander the lot in search of other friends. After hanging out in the parking lots for about an hour mingling with other concert goers, we made our way up to the entrance. Despite what I had heard previously, the walk up the ramp to the gates is not too arduous. From the folklore I had been exposed to, I was prepared to walk 10 miles with a 50 lbs. backpack. However, after only about 5 minutes of walking up the ramp built into the side of the cliffs, we made it to security and were into the venue itself in no time.

 I unfortunately missed the first act, XXYYXX, but was there well before Tycho took the stage. Hailing from San Francisco, Scott Hansen (Tycho) took the stage armed with a live band behind him. The ambient music took over the crowd and had everyone grooving along. This was one of the best opening acts I had seen in a long time, had it not been for STS9 being the headliner, they may have stolen the show!

Tycho: Photo by Dylan Langille (source)

Once they ended, stage hands went to work and got the equipment ready for Sound Tribe. This was one of the best Tribe shows I had ever seen; the lighting, the sound, the jamming, the atmosphere, the venue, everything, it all came together and made that night one of the most memorable nights in my life.  Coming out of the gates with fan favorite, “MOD”, and quickly going into one of their classics, Arigato, this 21 song deep, 2 part set was an absolute party all night long.  They played some music between sets by Gold Panda. I think they picked this experimental, glitch, deep house music to make you appreciate them that much more once they got back for their second set! Although at times Gold Panda’s music was outright bad-ass, other times I felt my ears crying and myself wanting to scream – an interesting experience to say the least. At last, Sound Tribe came on stage and continued what they had left off and jammed for a solid 2 more hours. They played some incredible tunes and came back on for a double encore ending with "Music, Us". The entire set is available through 1320 Records’ website: HERE.

Photo Taken From STS9's Facebook

In the end, the most memorable thing about the show, apart from STS9's awesomeness, was definitely the venue. I had heard it before, but never really understood it, but Red Rocks is one of the best venues on the Earth.  There is nothing like being up in the mountains, under a crystal clear night sky filled with stars, overlooking the lights of the city of Denver, while enjoying one of your favorite bands. Please, friends, do yourself a favor and go to Red Rocks Amphitheater as soon as you can!!!


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