Words By: CarlyÂ Photos by: Nick Irving
NEW YORK, NY – In support of their latest EP When The Dust Settles, Sound Tribe Sector 9Â (STS9) made a stop in New York City to visit Times Squareâ€™s Best Buy Theater (formally the Nokia Theater) and the scene outside was just as busy as the rest of the Square. Fingers were up for the sold out show and even though police were present, the lot kids designated a corner for smoking and selling wraps adjacent to the venue.
Getting in was no problem, security was loose and the spacious theater is quite welcoming. DJ opener Polish Ambassador had over an hour before STS9â€™s set but unfortunately, he didnâ€™t captivate many of the people who were already there and even the chaos by the Theater bars was more exciting. Some people retired to the seats in the upper section of Best Buy and were bobbing their heads to the standard, mixed dance beats, and a few were kindly supporting the DJ, probably more as placeholders for the main act.
When the lights went down and fog machines went on, â€œCloserâ€ by Nine Inch Nails drifted through the PA and coaxed the band on stage. They started off a heavy set with some newer selections; appropriately opening with “Scheme” which isÂ also the first track on the new EP, When the Dust Settles.Â They made their way somewhat statically to the peak of the set with â€œInspire Strikes Back,â€ allowing the groove and excitement to carry them back to fan favorites like â€œArigato,â€ â€œSquares and Cubes,â€ and â€œShock Doctrine.â€ The set ended on a high energy, free flowing vibe with the thumping closer, â€œWhat is Love.â€
Set break was a wild rush to the cushioned seats or to line-up for the smoking section. For the most part, people were impressed with first set, though there were a handful ofÂ long-time fans that thought it was poorly executed and saw the overzealous lights as attempt to make up for it.Â Truthfully, the light show was a little more than usual, but the Best Buy Theaterâ€™s versatile space and extensive rig might have allowed lighting director Saxton Waller to have a little more fun.
â€œHidden Hand, Hidden Fistâ€ opened the second set up similarly to first set with a slow, murky build to the steady drop beats that supported a barely interesting melody. Itâ€™s what people didnâ€™t love about Peaceblaster and what long-time fans at set break donâ€™t like about Dust.Â Following â€œHidden Hand…â€ with the new albumsâ€™ title track the second set limped out of the gate as the band tried to work in their new material.
â€œ20-12â€ seemed to give a new spirit to the faded dance party as the band did a good job of continually re-igniting until the explosive â€œUnquestionable Supremacy of Natureâ€ closed things out. As one of the few STS9 songs that never fails to impress, â€œNatureâ€ was easily the setâ€™s savior, and got anyone who had lost hope in the second set up and grooving.
Maybe to compensate, or maybe because they were on a roll, the â€œCircusâ€ encore was similarly vibrant and moving, just what the crowd needed as a night-cap to a decent show. Not their best, but certainly not their worst, STS9 still impressed the majority of the crowd finding a mix between pleasing older fans while still giving their new tunes room to grow.