Sound Tribe Sector 9 | 07.18.02 & 07.19.02
Mishawaka Amphitheatre | Fort Collins, CO

For two beautiful nights the Mishawaka Amphitheatre had some unusual guests, which appeared to come from a different musical planet, shredding all through the night. Sound Tribe Sector 9 brought their unclassifiable sound to the Mish for a two-night run which featured funk, house and everything in between. The Mishawaka Amphitheatre is in the nicest place I have ever seen a show. About an hour outside of Ft. Collins and nestled between foothills and the Poudre River, the drive into the amphitheatre features white water and a neverending supply of beautiful landscape. After seeing a show there I can honestly say that its intimate atmosphere puts it ahead of Red Rocks in my all time faves. After seeing Yonder Mountain String Band play there earlier in the summer I was interested to see how STS9’s crowd would play out. The security was much tighter at this event, probably due to the use of the word "Rave" attached with the band’s sound. The Rave tag-line is something that the Tribe is forced to deal with and provided no tailgating and lounging before the concert. Fortunately there was plenty of unbelievable music getting ready to hatch inside and waiting became less important then getting inside this unique show.

The night was opened by STS9’s light man and extraordinary DJ Saxton spinning grooves and MC Scotty flowing his intelligent lyrics on top. Saxton is a regular at STS9 shows and is a great way to open up a show. Saxton has also been seen guesting with such bands as MFA and Phix, in recent months. The stage was then set for a great night of technorganica-style music. The band is composed of Zach Velmer on drums, Jeffree Lerner on percussion, Hunter Brown on guitar, Dave Murphy on bass, and David Phipps on keys. Never before seeing this band, their role as one of the leaders of the rave/jam scene allowed me to gain a feeling for what I was in for. Little did I know that this band would keep the crowd shakin’ for three full sets and play until 3 in the morning!

The show was an amazing one in which drummer Zach showed me things I have never seen before. While the technorganica scene is still new to me, I learned early that a large percentage of the style is based off of the drum beats and pace set by the drummer. STS9 is fortunate to have the perfect drummer for the job, playing with a small kit, Velmer is able to play extremely fast beats and seem to never miss a note. It is a style of drumming that has never been seen before and may never be duplicated again.

The show was put on by Eric Pirritt, the booking agent for the Fox Theatre and Tulagi’s in Boulder, and resident number one fan. After two sets of stellar music, Eric came out to thank everyone for their cooperation with the police and to sit pretty because there was a 3rd set of Tribe to come! The crowd began to really move during this final set and when Scotty came out to lend some vocal flows to their jam, the crowd went nuts. The final set proved to be my favorite and as 3AM hit and the band called it quits people slowly left the Amphitheatre knowing they had experienced the future that night. The Tribe is a band that is changing the rules, the boundaries, and the expectations of music. Often times bands tend to focus on what has happened in the past with success and forget about the future, STS9 knows what the future holds and they are bringing audiences to the future every night of their tour.

Greg Berman
JamBase Denver Summer Correspondent
Goin' Back to Indiana...
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[Published on: 7/30/02]

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