Cover photo by Dave Vann
The Who and What:
Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9) is an instrumental band whose sound is influenced by everything from electronic music to funk, jazz, and hip-hop. STS9 is also known for pushing musical boundaries, mixing different influences into their music, and using both acoustic (“Axe the Cables”) and electronic means to convey their sound. The band is no stranger to the music scene, let alone Las Vegas. STS9 formed in the late 1990’s and has headlined major music festivals, such as Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, Lollapalooza, and Electric Forest almost immediately. Over the last 20 years, YES YOU READ THAT RIGHT- 20 Years, the band has pushed the envelope on music, creation, activism, and the fan experience.
STS9 announced that they would be performing a 3-night run in Las Vegas May 4, 5, and 6. The Band messaged to fans:
“We’re returning to Vegas again this year! This time we’ll be doing 3 nights ⚡️⚡️⚡️ we’re going all in, and pulling out all the stops!!! Join us as STS9 takes its many shapes and forms, and take a wild trip with us on the sonic adventures this community has come to know and love 🙏”
The show is set to take place in Las Vegas. The only city where you can go “All In” without hesitation. STS9 will host their 3 night run at the famed Brooklyn Bowl.
The Brooklyn Bowl is right off The Strip located perfectly near The Flamingo, Caesars Palace, and Linq hotel. So, if you aren’t a local, you don’t have to worry about a place to stay. Come for the music, stay for the warm weather and pools.
The 3 Reasons WHY:
1. New Music!
Over the last 6 months, STS9 has treated their fans to not only new music but new ways in which they’ve composed the music and ‘transmitted’ the music. Again, we can’t stress enough how this band continues to push musical boundaries and explore creativity. STS9 shared with their fans the process they went through to make Wave Spell.
“A little over a month ago we launched our first music release of 2018, Wave Spell: 9.17.2017 – it’s 9 tracks that we recorded in 1 session together back in September 2017 🌊✨ you can listen to the entire release exclusively when you sign up for our new subscription service STS9: Transmissions.
We have been making music as STS9 for 20 years and we are constantly exploring new ideas, concepts, and ways to interact with the community around our music. This latest release is STS9 in raw form – where we get together and communicate through our instruments. And because of the raw nature of the audio, we wanted to find a new avenue to upload it and for the community to experience it that is separate from the standard everyone is using. A platform where we can customize and enhance how our art is being received. Wave Spell: 9.17.2017 was the first official broadcast on the new Transmissions platform.
This will not be the only Wave Spell! This is an ongoing series… and more swells are forming to come your way!! There are a few on the horizon, and we are DEEP in the studio preparing, even more, to share with you when ready. Please hop on board and take the ride with us – we are excited about these new experiments and are committed to releasing them regularly 🙏”
So much love & gratitude,
We were so intrigued by STS9’s creation of Wave Spell that when we had a chance to sit down and talk with the drummer, Zach Velmer, at Okeechobee we had to ask him more about the process.
Festival Squad: So about a month ago you guys released ‘Wave Spell’. It’s a live-recorded album that you recorded back in September?
Zach: It’s hard to describe… It’s not just a live recording. Pretty much we have a recording studio and what we’ve been inspired by just kind of getting together and letting the music speak for itself and literally let the music take us on a journey in this raw form. We just released a statement saying that this ‘Wave Spell’ is a series that’s not going to stop, there’s more that’s coming. It says right here that because of the raw nature of the audio we wanted to find a new avenue to figure out how we can share this music with our fans. So, that’s kind of where this whole ‘Wave Spell’ came from. It’s kind of like an analogy where these moments come in waves. It can be where we recorded five hours and condensed it down to nine particular songs or where we recorded one day and it was thirteen minutes or we recorded one day and it was four minutes; so its going to come in different waves where were able to communicate through our instruments and through music then how we release it to our fans through this avenue. It’s a pretty cool experience of what’s to come and where we want to take it.
Festival Squad: How was releasing it through Bandcamp this time instead of your own label?
Zach: It was amazing; it was super cool! It’s proof of concept, we don’t necessarily know how we’re going to keep doing this. We wanted to make it kind of exclusive where we can kind of create a community around other opportunities. We’re starting to take requests for our studio of what people want to here. So there are all these different realms where we’re trying to figure out how to put out music in the modern world.
Click here to download
2. The Tribe Family FANS!
Shout out to all of the Tribe Fans, the 20-year veterans to the newbies who are popping their “Tribe” cherry. The moment you walk into an STS9 show the feeling of community, family, and happiness overwhelms you.
Our motto at Festival Squad is “Festing for the People”. The people that contribute to this blog live, breath, eat, and sleep music. We often times have our personal favorite musicians that lead us to become who we are as a music-lover. For me, that is Sound Tribe Sector 9. I remember the first time I saw STS9 play live at the Chicago Theater in 2008- it was life changing! Since that moment, I’ve been proud to call myself part of the Tribe Family and subsequently have met some truly amazing people along the way.
I’ve been lucky enough to talk with multiple fans who shared their personal moments of Tribe happiness with me:
Photo by: aLIVE coverage
“The reason seeing Tribe is so important to me is simple really. They always lift my spirits. Their music makes me feel every human emotion you can think of in the most beautiful way. I’ve met some of my closest friends and favorite people through seeing this band. They have very much become an integral part of my life.” -V
“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.” –H
“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 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 have helped me so much.” – A
3. Never miss a Sunday Show
I’m going to leave this description purposely blank. There is no better way to describe the magic of a Sunday show other than being there. STS9 rarely play Sunday night’s but when they do it’s a real specialty that you have to indulge in.