The Fans behind STS9’s 20th Anniversary

All photos by: JV Photography

Sound Tribe Sector 9 celebrated a major accomplishment that very few bands can celebrate- 20 years of making music and performing! To mark this amazing accomplishment, STS9 held a 3-night run at Red Rocks Amphitheater September 8-10 with a ton of support from different acts, including the band’s longtime friends and even family members.

STS9 performed the entirety of their highly regarded album Artifact on Friday night to kickoff the 3-night celebration.  Artifact hasn’t been performed in its entirety since its release in 2005!  Many fans traveled from near and far to hear the album that turned them into “die hard fans”. They also treated their fans to an acoustic Axe the Cables set for their closing show on Sunday, September 10th. The band is no stranger to Red Rocks! This was their 15th consecutive year at the venue (23 shows total) and they pulled out all the major stops to celebrate their 20th anniversary.  In fact, it was just announced that while they were at Red Rocks they were induced into the Red Rocks Hall of Fame as a surprise!!  All bands members were shocked and honored to be part of such an influential community of artists.

 



Since this show was anything but ordinary, I decided I wanted to get to know the FANS that have supported this band throughout the years.  A band is nothing without their fan base and STS9 has withstood the test of time and in fact – has only gained fans as the years continue!

My mission was to meet as many fans on the Rocks as possible!  I wanted to get to know how STS9 has influenced their lives and what highlights from the 20th anniversary shows would stick with them forever. I was lucky enough to chat with a “die-hard” fan hitting her 100th show all the way to the “newbie” popping her STS9- Red Rocks cherry!

Read my mini-interviews with the fans of STS9 below

OR

SKIP TO THE END AND WATCH ALL 3 SETS
from Red Rock!

Vera (25)- Chicago, IL

Festival Squad: How many times have you seen STS9 perform?

Vera:  100!

I was lucky enough to accompany Vera to Red Rocks for her 98th, 99th, and 100th show.  She was surrounded by friends, Tribe Family, and the ultimate radiate energy of LOVE!

Check out Vera’s love for STS9 in her interview
“Who would you see perform 100 times?”

Holt (23)-Greensboro, NC

Festival Squad: How many times have you seen STS9 perform?

Holt: 46!

FS: What drew you to be a part of STS9’s 20th anniversary show at Red Rocks?

Holt:  I was really drawn to STS9’s 20th year anniversary because of the announcement that the band would be replaying the artifact album in its entirety as well as the old school openers they had this year as well as the acoustic set to finish out the run on Sunday.

FS:  How has STS9’s music/ culture influenced your life both personally and in terms of your music taste?

Holt: STS9 has been my favorite musical endeavor from the first time I ever heard them. Before I never really clicked with a band like I did with them. STS9 is my heart, mind and soul, they are the key to everything beautifying in life.

FS: What is one memory that you will take away from this weekend?

Holt: One memory I can take away from this weekend was when the opening sample for artifact “Musical Story, yes” came in and the band walked out … chills for a lifetime!!

Adam (28)- Chicago, IL

Festival Squad: How many times have you seen STS9 perform?

Adam:  35!

FS: What drew you to be a part of STS9’s 20th anniversary show at Red Rocks?

Adam:  I love the artifact album. I was really excited when I heard it would be performed live. This band has meant so much to me over the years I could not miss this special occasion. Plus, this is my yearly reunion with the people I feel honored to call friends.

FS:  How has STS9’s music/ culture influenced your life both personally and in terms of your music taste?

Adam: STS9 has had massive ripples on my life. It has defined so many friendships, as well as my vacation schedule. I feel like a piece of appreciating at their music is taking the time to slow down and focus. This is something I’ve needed in many places in my life and their example and music has helped me so much.

In terms of my taste in music, I discovered STS9 on my first festival in 2008, Rothbury. This festival and the band specifically has freed me from the clutches of mainstream music. I have branched out so much, first into the waves of electronic music and Jamtronica. More recently, I have fallen in love with funk and true Jam band music. One of my favorite parts of STS9 is how they weave musical styles, and I attribute so many musical discoveries to them.

FS: What is one memory that you will take away from this weekend?

Adam: So many to mention trip. We invented a hilariously terrible darts game called “9s”. Of course when the moon actually came out during “tonight the oceans swallowed the moon”. Finally, I had this feeling that Water would get axed on Sunday. When I heard those first notes, I nearly lost my mind. What a weekend!

The Moon during “Tonight the Ocean swallowed the Moon”

Amber (25)-  Denver, Colorado

Festival Squad: How many times have you seen STS9 perform?

Amber:  28!

FS: What drew you to be a part of STS9’s 20th anniversary show at Red Rocks?

Amber: Love Tribe, Love Red Rocks.  All my friends come from all over the country to come every year for Tribe Rocks.  This one was special because of Artifact day, which is my favorite album and honestly the best Tribe show I’ve ever seen.

FS:  How has STS9’s music/ culture influenced your life both personally and in terms of your music taste?

Amber: I’m always trying to find new music.  Tribe has a great family following and always does their best to rock each show.

FS: What is one memory that you will take away from this weekend?

Amber: That FIRE Artifact set.  And the moon coming over the Red Rocks during the set– it was beautiful!  Beautiful people, great music, and great friends.

 

Lisa (26)- Las Vegas, NV

Festival Squad: How many times have you seen STS9 perform?

Lisa:  22! Lucky #20 was artifact night!

FS: What drew you to be a part of STS9’s 20th anniversary show at Red Rocks?

Lisa:  My boyfriend has been a huge influence on me when it comes to Tribe. He convinced me to go to my first tribe show 8 years ago. Back then I didn’t know anyone! As the years went on, I’ve met more and more tribe fam when we started going to red rocks. It’s such a beautiful venue. There’s nothing like watching tribe play under the Denver lights twinkling! I couldn’t miss this year!

FS:  How has STS9’s music/ culture influenced your life both personally and in terms of your music taste?

Lisa: Tribe has influenced my life through all the new connections and friendships. Adam, my boyfriend, is a Chicago guy- so of course he knows a bunch of people. Coming from Arizona, I didn’t know anyone in the scene. I’ve met so many amazing chicagoans plus more and more people. Musically, they have made me respect the jam band much more. I love watching live music! Before I was much more of a spice girl so this definitely opened my eyes!

FS: What is one memory that you will take away from this weekend?

Lisa: Apart from sharing a beautiful air bnb with 6 really close friends and sneaking into our neighbors hot tub, my favorite memory was the Ladies of Sector 9 meet up on Sunday night at set break. I’ve never been to a meet up and was kind of nervous but as soon as I took a deep breath and said just be nice, I ran right into a long lost friend – it was such a perfect moment!

Sara (29)-  Chicago, IL

Festival Squad: How many times have you seen STS9 perform?

Sara:  17!

FS: What drew you to be a part of STS9’s 20th anniversary show at Red Rocks?

Sara:  It’s been a tradition for my friends and I to meet in Denver to see Tribe’s show at Red Rocks, three years and counting! We used to stay at a hotel in Golden, but this past year we got an EPIC AirBnB. Upgrade! Colorado is the perfect meeting place for old friends and new. It’s hard to pass up an opportunity to see the mountains…and TRIBE.

FS:  How has STS9’s music/ culture influenced your life both personally and in terms of your music taste?

Sara: At first STS9 was just a band that one of my best friends would take me to. But, after getting to know STS9, STS9’s music and the community -I can’t get enough. If anyone knows me they know I love to dance, and I can always count on Tribe to throw a good party! In a way, Tribe showed me that it doesn’t always have to be bass and beat drops to get the party going. STS9 is an amazing band that can be both dance music and easy listening, how cool is that!?

FS: What is one memory that you will take away from this weekend?

Sara: My favorite memory from the weekend was during Saturday’s set. My best friend and I were so excited about the music that we found ourselves running up and down the rows of Red Rocks- we could not contain our excitement! Oh! And shout out to Soul Clap/all of the DJ’s that played in between STS9’s sets!

John (25)-  Denver, Colorado

Festival Squad: How many times have you seen STS9 perform?

John:  12!

FS: What drew you to be a part of STS9’s 20th anniversary show at Red Rocks?

John:  I had the opportunity to shoot photos of STS9’s 20th anniversary run at my favorite venue. (Check out John’s photos here)

FS:  How has STS9’s music/ culture influenced your life both personally and in terms of your music taste?

John: Tribe has definitely helped me switch my mindset on a daily basis, especially if I’m having a bad day. My first time seeing tribe with Saxton Waller (Lighting Designer for STS9) was mind blowing and really opened my eyes to more of the production aspect of live entertainment.

FS: What is one memory that you will take away from this weekend?

John: Hearing Artifact in its entirety was something special as that was mostly some of the first music I heard from them and my first axe the cables set!

Brandi (26 )- Lakewood, CO

Festival Squad: How many times have you seen STS9 perform?

Brandi: 7-8 times.

FS: What drew you to be a part of STS9’s 20th anniversary show at Red Rocks?

Brandi: All the good friends that were visiting this weekend! I haven’t missed STS9 at Red Rocks for the last 3 years.

FS:  How has STS9’s music/ culture influenced your life both personally and in terms of your music taste?

Brandi: It has opened my eyes to appreciate a wider variety of music. I used to not really be into jam bands as much as I am now. I’m a basshead at heart, but now also love going to tribe shows. I have met a lot of amazing people that I now call my good friends!.

FS: What is one memory that you will take away from this weekend?

Brandi:This weekend was actually my favorite tribe experience! Both Friday and Saturday night I brought friends with me that don’t always go to shows and we were with a group of people who have been to 50+ STS9 shows! The individuals in our group were all so different, new friends and old friends, tribe veterans and newbies, even someone’s first ever Red Rocks show! But we came together and had the most amazing time with so much love for one another and the music. Like I said it was my favorite STS9 experience yet!

Ariana (23)- Brooklyn, NY

Festival Squad: How many times have you seen STS9 perform?

Ariana: 2

FS: What drew you to be a part of STS9’s 20th anniversary show at Red Rocks?

Ariana:  I spent some really great quality time with myself last Thursday night. I had been feeling a little ‘blah’ (about life, work, etc), despite the fact that I have every reason in the world to feel the exact opposite of ‘blah’. I ended up self-loving my way in to a wild hair that ended with me taking a cute boy up on his offer to join him at the show – and before I even had time to wonder if it was the right move, the stars aligned and I was gifted a ticket for the only night I planned to attend. So in short, I guess it was a boy, but in reality, it was the universe.

FS:  How has STS9’s music/ culture influenced your life both personally and in terms of your music taste?

Ariana: I really am not a ‘die hard’ STS9 fan. I don’t fully understand the cultural significance of their music, I don’t know the names of their songs, but now I know without a shadow of a doubt that they draw some of the greatest crowds you could ask for! My experience with the jam band scene is minimal compared to that of other people I know, but always beyond positive. You could say it made me feel at home, at ease, even though it’s not “my music.” I walked into Red Rocks and felt as though STS9 was welcoming me, a stranger, into their home. The whole show felt like they were thanking me for doing something a little wild…if I ever get the chance, I’ll be sure to thank them for getting me there.

FS: What is one memory that you will take away from this weekend?

Ariana: Never have I ever felt so unfathomably small as I did when standing smack dab in the middle of the venue. Not even in a humbling way (excuse my pompousness), more of in a way that made me feel I had landed exactly where I was supposed to be. A comforting way. A we’re-all-going-to-be-fine way. It’s hard to worry about much when you feel so minuscule, and that’s pretty freaking cool.

Honestly, there were thousands of people on the Rocks to support Sound Tribe Sector 9 in their milestone 20th anniversary.  Every single person present- whether it was the 1st show or their 100th- was excited to be a part of the joyous occasion.  Everyone had a smile on their face and sparkles in their eyes because we all knew we were a part of history– something that we could remember for the rest of our lives.

To the band members:

Hunter, Alana, Zach, Jeffree, and Phipps

WE THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS– for everything you’ve done over the years.

In the words of Zach Velmer on Saturday (9/9/2017) “LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE”

WE LOVE YOU TOO!

Friday (9/8/2017) Set

 

Saturday (9/9/2017) Set

 

Sunday–AXE THE CABLES (9/10/2017) SET

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.