In the jamband world, Halloween is the second biggest holiday of the year (trailing only New Year's Eve.) The California by way of Atlanta band has played three of its past four Halloween shows in San Francisco, so Austin is getting a special treat here. What surprises may be in store are unknown, but one can certainly expect a colorfully dressed crowd and one of the band's top performances of the year - the tradition of monumental Halloween shows past simply demands it. The outdoor show will also feature a $500 costume contest.
The band's new Peaceblaster album is their strongest studio release to date, as far as capturing the vibe of the band's energetic live shows. The band has also launched a Peaceblaster.com site where fans can get updates on a variety of socially conscious issues. STS9 is known as a band that not only wants to help people get their groove on, but also inspire its fanbase toward socially conscious thought and action.
"America is this beautiful, incredible place, but it has a dark underbelly," bassist David Murphy said upon the new album's release. "And even on Peaceblaster's most ethereal songs, there's a darkness that reflects what's going on in society-it ain't all bad, but it ain't all good."
"Music measures the temperature of the people," adds guitarist Hunter Brown. "Consumerism and the corporate media have taken us all down the path of cynicism, apathy, and nihilism. If the message on the new record is anything, it's to blast that shit."Like most jam-oriented bands, live and in person is the best way to experience STS9. Unlike most jambands however, the group's sound doesn't revolve around classic rock-oriented lead guitar, but rather around a collective groove sound where the band's five members come together to form a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts. Those not familiar with the band's sound can check out some tracks from the new album at STS9's MySpace site.
While many electronic outfits get bogged down in monotonous rhythms due to sampled drum beats, superhuman drummer Zach Velmer always keeps things interesting and organic for STS9. Keyboard wizard David Phipps and percussionist Jeffree Lerner also make sublime contributions to help create the band's unique sound.
Die-hard fans can catch the band on a Texas three-step as the Halloween show in Austin is sandwiched in between a Thursday night show at Houston's Warehouse Live and a Saturday night show at Dallas's House of Blues. But the Halloween show is THE one to see.
Sound Tribe Sector 9
8pm Fri, Oct 31
801 Red River / Austin, TX 78701