These days when I look at festival lineups, it always feels like there is something missing. Don’t get me wrong, there’s always more that I want to go to than there is time or money. But when I choose a festival, I try my best to focus on music that I haven’t seen; to choose a lineup that offers diversity and exploration. Not to mention, I prefer something smaller in scale as opposed to the increasingly massive crowds. So I sided with a couple of old favorites this time around.

There’s no doubt that the weekend in Belden, CA for Wave Spell Live this year is going to be something special! And while tickets are still available at the moment, there’s no doubt the gates will be closed off at full capacity with a weekend of incredible music ahead of us.

Right off the bat you’ve got that fact that STS9 is going to play nine total sets over the course of the weekend. Add the fact that this the inaugural year for this festival, and it’s all the more reason to attend. Plus there’s just something about the timing of it. I’m talking of course about for them as a band. If you think about their tour dates this year, STS9 has been particularly selective so far. They have even missed a couple of favorites stops (Chicago anyone?).

There is no question that they are the best they’ve ever been: creatively, technically, otherwise. Anyone following their boards on Bandcamp can attest to the diversity, not just in their set lists, but in the band’s chemistry. And this year, as far as I’m concerned, is the furthest they’ve ever pushed it. This Wave Spell odyssey has been a very courageous move; opening their studio space and sharing their msuical exploration.

So of course, I would choose this festival this year. And with all that, here’s are 9 other sets you need to see this weekend in addition to the 9 sets of STS9.

9 Must-See Sets @ STS9’s Wave Spell Live

1Wave Spell Sets

I’ve been waiting for another opportunity to catch an improv set since they performed what would later go on to be One/One at the Fillmore in Denver in January 2015. To this day I still throw that show on and marvel at how tight the entire performance is even though they had only been playing together for less than a year. It’s been a long road since then, and I can’t wait to see them explore the material they shared on their first two Wave Spell albums. Now to mention whatever else they have up their sleeves.

STS9 - "A Beautiful Chaos (Improv)" - One/One: Live From The Fillmore Auditorium - Denver, CO