There is something to be said about fall in the New York‚ especially when music is involved. Whether it's the Grateful Dead frolicking through college campuses‚ or Phish at Madison Square Garden‚ or moe. roaming the upstate--when the leaves change color‚ the melodies move indoors and take on a unique character all their own.
Having reacquainted myself with STS9 at Wakarusa and Rothbury this past summer‚ I found their live show a mesmerizing spectacle. The blend of prog-rock‚ electronica‚ and trip-hop (and seemingly the kitchen sink) raids the senses. A seizure-inducing lightshow amid a nonstop instrumental trance is created onstage with such nonchalant simplicity.
Knowing their capabilities on the festival main stage‚ I was intrigued to see the same formula applied to a smaller‚ more intimate‚ venue such as Revolution Hall.
Floating along the tension and pent-up energy filling the room‚ Telepath seemed to contribute more to the background noise. Granted‚ opening for Sound Tribe is no simple task for any electronica project‚ but the trio never seemed to get the momentum off the ground as they treaded water in front of the crowd for the next 45 minutes. To be fair‚ watching this band (who were quite the treat at Wakarusa) only seems appropriate (or enjoyable) underneath a late-night tent instead of on a Sunday night in a dreary metropolis‚ with attendees awaiting the headliner.
Barreling up and down melodies like a freight train through the dark and mysterious mountains surrounding the city‚ the Tribe molds itself into a claustrophobic‚ and often intimidating‚ singular beacon of light and sound that carries the listener into the unknown territories of the night.
The mad-genius-gone-AWOL aptitude of the quintet captivates the tiny room for the subsequent two hours. Sweat drips off foreheads. Glowsticks zip and zoom like black flies. Bodies dance with reckless abandon. Arms flail upward with every melodic climax. The walls seem to collapse and the sky opens up above.
The mind bounces along an inviting bass hook‚ drum cycle or swift keyboard stroke. Each instrumental trance seems to drop you further down the rabbit hole. You fall deeper and deeper as one musician hands the baton off to another. The vision gets darker‚ more sinister. You wonder where you're being taken and where the final destination is located. But‚ just before you lose faith in those guiding you‚ a light emerges on the horizon. It is the end of the tunnel and the end of the ride. You breathe a sigh of relief over the successful journey. You cheer and salute the endless encore.
Soon‚ the scene unfolding in front of your eyes slows down. You realize it's not 10 p.m.‚ but midnight. Again‚ you fall victim to the Sector 9 time warp.
The modern day hustle and bustle of Monday office politics and Friday happy hours overtakes your thoughts.
It's time to step off the train.
But‚ for those far between and blissful moments‚ instances of grandeur surface onstage that blaze across your small world like a shooting star. One feels truly blessed that such beauty exists and we are lucky enough to see it before it vanishes into the night‚ until all that remains is the sound of a train whistle echoing in the distance‚ hurdling towards the next station.