STS9 | WAY BEYOND WORDS IN SOLANA BEACH

Hello Friends and Family,
I had to take this moment to let you know that something really big happened at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach on Saturday, July 14. For those of you that have seen Sound Tribe Sector 9 (and I think many of you have at this point), you know how difficult it is to convey their experience through words. Saturday night's show is even more challenging to talk about because it transcended so far beyond this Earthly realm with which we are most familiar.

All five members of the band were intensely focused in Solana Beach, exuding this omniscient, zen vibe throughout the night. Just a few minutes into the "Circus" opener, Hunter was making this face which left no doubt how deep in the zone he really was. Everyone was playing their best and every song was pretty much the best version I've ever heard. This show was heavy on the improv, with a couple of tunes oozing into a free-form jam section.

Opening with "Circus" set the most magickal tone for the evening. The show had an effortless flow to it. It was an extremely dance-oriented night. They did not hold back on the funk. Phipps stepped up bigger than I've seen in a while. They're all having a blast trying out new techniques with their instruments. Even Jeffree's getting techy back there with some new device that I couldn't quite identify.

The peak of the first set happened in the middle with the evolved "Surreality" which got that little extra push it needed to become a true epic. They closed the first set with "King Pharoh's Tomb." The way they played this was symbolic of where they're at in their developmental cycle. This ho-hum reggae groove (so I thought before) turned into a powerhouse reggae groove where every sound was in just the right place.

"Kamuy" was an awesome second set opener. I love that song. One of my new favorites, "Shine," graced the middle of the set with its vortex evoking grooves. Apparently one of the friends of the band put a bunch of little meteorites on stage (along with the giant crystal power-chakra they had already created) which unleashed a volume of cosmic energy that only the 9 would be able to channel. The set ended with the biggest funk explosion anyone could possibly imagine. "Horn" went there. The groove was suffocatingly sick. I still can't even believe how heavy it was. They followed it up with the only song that could take the energy any higher: "Inspire Strikes Back." This song has been diluted a little at times when they try to just "slip it in." This, however, was the real deal. My words do so little justice. Absolute eruption! Dancing as hard as possible but not even close to hard enough. Overflow. Tidal Waves. Meltdown. All of the above.

The Belly Up provided a sweet venue for Sector 9 to thrive in. The only bummer was the overwhelming amount of audience chatter throughout the night. It ended up being quite intrusive for me, but hopefully not too much for the band. It still baffles me that some people are oblivious to the force of creation occurring just feet away. I feel like it's inevitable though that everyone took away something positive from the experience.

Anyways, I just want to say how grateful I am to the band for shaking me to the core and to the crew and all the dedicated fans for sharing so much energy. We all know how big this is and it's up to us to harness it in the most fulfilling, empowering way possible. Cheers to that! Group Hug,
Tyler Blue

Sound Tribe Sector 9
7.14.01 | The Belly Up | Solana Beach, CA
Close to accurate setlist
Set 1: Circus, Monkey Music (according to Zack's setlist, but I think it was one of the sections of Frequency), Surreality > EB, New Down Tempo, King Pharoh's Tomb
Set 2: Kamuy, Equinox, Shine, Movement, Horn, Inspire Strikes Back!

[Published on: 7/16/01]

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