STS9- Vail, CO- April 12, 2014
As most of you electronic music fans know, STS9 has recently decided to part ways with their bassist, David Murphy, aka ‘Murph’. This was sad news for many loyal fans such as myself. STS9 has been paving the roads for electronica instrumental artists since 1998. Originally formed in Atlanta, GA, Tribe has since released 11 albums, started self-owned record label, 1320 Records, and supported many non-profit causes such as Conscious Alliance. I was a member of Conscious Alliance at UGA, and our purpose was to help feed the homeless by trading canned goods for art prints or selling the prints. The artwork we sold was made specially for the shows and festivals we were vending at by various artists. All of the money and food raised would go to help a local, Athens-Clarke County shelter.
Sound Tribe brought together a purposeful family of showgoers who loved the music, loved each other, and were willing to volunteer their time for a bigger cause. This is what brought everyone together initially and kept bringing us back together time and time again. I could always go to a show, expect to see friendly, familiar faces, and have a great time. I always had a special connection with ‘Murph’ because we shared the same last name, and let’s face it, everyone loves Murph. I was saddened by the news that he was leaving the band and wondered, what went wrong? Who would fill his shoes? Who would connect and talk to the crowd like he did? These questions kept repeating in my mind until I watched the McDowell Music Festival debut of the “new Tribe.”
Bassist, Alana Rocklin, took over the stage with her vivacious curls and apparent talent. But, did she have that connection with the fans? Would her talent supercede Murph’s charm and stage presence? My initial guess would be no way! No one could ever replace Murph. Much to my surprise, she proved it could be done. She hit all the right notes, successfully played two never released tracks, and her feminine energy complimented the boys nicely.
I ended up going to Vail for the Spring Fever free STS9 show. People kept saying “is this Sound Tribe Sector 8 now?” It was a good show, but nothing to write home about. Polish Ambassador opened with some melodic space tunes. Sound Tribe came on stage, and none of the band members spoke to the crowd! Not one word. I found this a little odd. I think that someone should talk to the audience, but maybe in time they will. They debuted a new song, Click Lang Echo, played another new song, Brand New Day, and lots of old songs including Grow, Rent, Poseidon, Breath In, and Hidden Hand Hidden Fist. It was an overly crowded show and the music was not nearly loud enough. It was definitely worth the drive and getting through the sea of people to witness their second show with new lady bassist, Alana. I am definitely looking forward to their shows at Red Rocks this September.