It had been awhile since STS9 played Los Angeles. Ten months ago they announced they were parting ways with founding bassist David Murphy, consequently canceling their upcoming show (and the entire tour) and sending their fan base into “now what?” mode. Fast forward to now and it seems everyone has completely embraced Alana Rocklin on bass and the band has incorporated new material and covers this fall that have reinvigorated the fans, and more importantly, themselves.
Inside The Wiltern this past Friday night, the audience was hopeful and ready to see and hear what all the fresh fuss was about. And the show was a prime example of what you can now confidently dub: “STS9 2.0”. Rocklin bringing new ideas to old favorites and allowing the founding members to create around her is clearly driving the reinvigorated energy. It brought everyone back to the good ole’ days without being a nostalgia act. At setbreak I was discussing with some fans around me who were floored with how much Rocklin was bringing to the table. The highlight of the night besides the debut of the Dead’s “West LA Fadeaway” was the late second set “Inspire Strikes Back.” The band has something to prove again and it was evident from the first set all the way to the encore that a bump in the road was exactly what they needed.
One of the best things about the STS9 live show that has remained constant over the past few years is their Lighting Director, Saxton Waller. Along with Jefferson Waful and Chris Kuroda, the three reign supreme as the best LDs in the business, yet Waller doesn’t get nearly as much credit. With the amazing sight lines The Wiltern provides, Friday night was a sure-fire recipe for success especially with the new material being showcased. Waller has new songs to play with and play with them he did.
Check out the setlist below and a full photo gallery from Molly Gale.
STS9 @ The Wiltern, Los Angeles, CA 11.21.14
Set I: Epirus > Equinox > STS9 > Equinox, 20-12 Glogli > Grow Love Don’t Terrorize, Blu Mood, Scheme Reprise > What is Love?
ENCORE: March, Life’s Sweet Breath