STS9 Releases Unexpected, Fully Improvised Album 'Wave Spell' January 24, 2018 11:51

Photo by Jordan Kirkloand: Live & Listen
Veteran instrumental jam band STS9 has unexpectedly released a new, full-length record via BandCamp. The release, titled Wave Spell: 9.17.2017, features nine songs that were recorded at the band’s new studio. The description suggests that the new material was improvised during a single studio session on September 17, 2017. The albums first single, "Wave Spell," was debuted during the band's three-night New Year's run at The Warfield in San Francisco. 
You can purchase the album here via BandCamp. STS9 announced their new partnership with BandCamp just two weeks ago. For $9.99 a month, the band is offering its fans access to a variety of musical content. As the group explained via Twitter, “In addition to all upcoming live sets, we will be releasing lots of improv jams, exclusive cuts, throwback shows from the vault + even taking special requests from YOU!”
The band released the following statement regarding the new album:

We’ve always dreamed of having our own studio, an “autonomous zone” where we could be free to let the music happen. Over the years we’ve had many different practice spaces. From basements to barns to makeshift rooms red-tagged by the city. 

In February of 2017 we moved into a new studio that truly feels like home. The ability to record ourselves live, to make it feel and sound like we’re on stage in the magic, has been a dream come true. 

It’s inspired us to be more prolific, to record everything and share more of our experience with our closest fans… 

Wave Spell is STS9 in its rawest form. Where we don’t talk about what we want to play, we just try and tap in to the moment and let the music happen. It’s a conversation where we speak solely with our instruments. A time where we’re completely free to explore. 

This series is dedicated to our belief that music is one of the most powerful forces in nature. It casts its spell through waveforms carrying sound and light, moving energy and frequencies through our mind, body and soul. 

Thank you for inspiring our Wave Spell. Can’t wait to see where it takes us… 


Listen to the album's first single "Wave Spell" here":

Dominican Holidaze Reveals Stacked 2017 Lineup May 9, 2017 13:27

Host bands Umphrey's McGee, STS9, and The Disco Biscuits have revealed the lineup for The 11th installment of Cloud 9 Adventures’ Dominican Holidaze destination concert event in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. This year's festivities are scheduled from December 1st - 5th. Along with the host bands, this year’s Holidaze will feature GRiZ, Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Lotus, The Motet, TAUK, Spafford, Sunsquabi and Wolf + Lamb, plus a poolside set from Umphrey’s McGee’s Brendan Bayliss.

All-inclusive packages for returning Holidaze guests go up for grabs on May 17. If rooms remain following the pre-sale, there will be a public on sale on Thursday, May 18 at 12 p.m. ET via Head to the festival’s website for additional details.

Watch the Dominican Holidaze (2016) official aftermovie here:

STS9 Will 'Axe The Cables' + Perform 'Artifact' Album At Red Rocks April 18, 2017 16:57

Photo by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

To reach a 20th anniversary is a major accomplishment for any band--and in 2017, STS9 will officially hit that milestone. To mark the occasion, the acclaimed and adventurous electronic rock band has announced their celebrations will kick off with a three-night stand at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO September 8-10featuring a slew of support acts including some of the band's longtime friends.
STS9 will begin the festivities on Friday, September 8 by performing their highly regarded album Artifact live in its entirety for the first time ever since its 2005 release and they'll wrap the weekend with an acoustic Axe The Cables set during their full show on Sunday, September 10. Supporting STS9 on this run will be Nightmares on Wax(DJ set), El Ten Eleven and Moon Boots (in the round) on September 8, Michal Menert, Sub-ID and Richard Devine (in the round) on September 9, and Troyboi, LTJ Bukem featuring Armanni Reign and Soul Clap (in the round) on September 10. The band's annual run at Red Rocks will mark their 15th consecutive year at the famed Colorado venue and bring their overall tally there to 23 shows. Tickets go on sale Friday, April 21, with a limited pre-sale beginning on Wednesday, April 19.
"We are so excited and truly honored to play Red Rocks to kick off the celebration of STS9's first 20 years," shares the band. "Red Rocks is a very special place to us and one of the most incredible stages on the planet. Every year leading up to RRX we take stock of where we are musically and the path we want to blaze going forward. This year, we wanted to give thanks and share the stage with some of the artists who have inspired us along the way. Thank you for the love and support; we've become quite a big family over the years :) Looking forward to the next 20!"
Fans can access a special pre-sale for tickets on Wednesday, April 19th, while 3-day and single tickets available to the general public and can be purchased by clicking here.
Buy the band's latest album THE UNIVERSE INSIDE on iTunes or 1320 Records now.

Watch STS9 perform "Pianor" during the 2014 'Axe The Cables' set at Red Rocks here:

Catch STS9 on the road in the following cities:
Headlining Shows:
~Tue 4/18 Pittsburgh, PA Stage AE
~Wed 4/19 New Haven, CT College Street Music Hall
~Thu 4/20 Boston, MA House of Blues
~Fri 4/21 Richmond, VA The National
~Sat 4/22 Charlotte, NC The Fillmore Charlotte
+Tue 4/25 Chattanooga, TN Track 29
+Wed 4/26 Oxford, MS The Lyric Oxford
+Thu 4/27 Dallas, TX House of Blues
+Fri 4/28 Houston, TX House of Blues
Sat 4/29 New Orleans, LA Joy Theater 
^Sun 4/30 New Orleans, LA Joy Theater 
Festival Appearances:
June 29-July 2 Quincy, CA High Sierra Music Festival
Aug 4-5 George, WA Pretty Lights Live. Season 2 premiere, Episode 6
Aug 17-23 Big Summit Prairie, OR Symbiosis: Oregon Eclipse
Sept 21-23 Thornville, OH Resonance Festival
Headlining shows:
Fri 9/8 Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre (performing Artifact)
Sat 9/9 Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre
^Sun 9/10 Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre
^marks an Axe The Cables show
*support from Jaw Gems
~support from City of the Sun
+support from Modern Measure

STS9 Announces 'Get Loud' 2017 Spring Tour Dates February 7, 2017 16:02

Veteran electronic rock band STS9 has revealed the details on its 23-show 'Get Loud' spring tour.  This run will begin out west with a two-night stand at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas (March 31st - April 1st) before making its way across Utah, Nevada, California, Arizona, Oklahoma, Missouri, Wisconsin, and Michigan.  The tour hits the east coast on April 18th at Stage AE in Pittsburgh and continues with an array of appearances down the coast and into the southeast and Texas, before concluding with a two night stand at The Joy Theatre in New Orleans (April 29th & 30th).  The April 30th show in New Orleans will feature an "Axe The Cables" set.   See below for a full list of tour dates.

Presale tickets go on sale tomorrow February 8th @ 9 AM PST and can be purchased by clicking here.

STS9 'Get Loud' 2017 Spring Tour Dates:

3/31 :: Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl
4/1 :: Las Vegas, NV @ Brooklyn Bowl
4/3 :: Park City, UT @ Park City Live
4/4 :: Park City, UT @ Park City Live
4/6 :: Stateline, NV @ Harrah's Lake Tahoe
4/7 :: Stateline, NV @ Harrah's Lake Tahoe
4/8 :: San Diego, CA @ The Observatory
4/9 :: Phoenix, AZ @ Phoenix Lights Festival
4/12 :: Tulsa, OK @ Cain's Ballroom
4/13 :: St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant
4/14 :: Milwaukee, WI @ Riverside Theatre
4/15 :: Grand Rapids, MI @ 20 Monroe Live
4/18 :: Pittsburgh, PA @ Stage AE
4/19 :: New Haven, CT @ College Street Music Hall
4/20 :: Boston, MA @ House of Blues
4/21 :: Richmond, VA @ The National
4/22 :: Charlotte, NC @ The Fillmore
4/25 :: Chattanooga, TN @ Track 29
4/26 :: Oxford, MS @ The Lyric Oxford
4/27 :: Dallas, TX @ House of Blues
4/28 :: Houston, TX @ House of Blues
4/29 :: New Orleans, LA @ Joy Theater
4/30 :: New Orleans, LA @ Joy Theater (Axe The Cables)

Watch STS9's official tour announcement video here:


STS9 Covers Pink Floyd, Delivers Classic Nashville Throwdown November 4, 2016 15:46

Photos by Brittan Allison: Live & Listen

STS9's red hot fall tour continued on Thursday night, as the five-piece jamtronic act rolled through Nashville's War Memorial Auditorium.  Fresh off a highly praised performance last weekend at Suwannee Hulaween, expectations for a night of classic Sector 9 tunes were high throughout the Music City.  The band came out firing early with a "Forest Hu" > "Really Wut" opener, which segued perfectly into the classic "Four Year Puma," one which is always received with high enthusiasm.  Next up was the heavy hitting "F Word," which was followed by "MOD," "Surreality," and "EB."  After a taking a moment to breathe, "Vibyl" would follow and provide for a nice, steady groove that rolled beautifully into a cover of Grandmaster Flash's "The Message," before moving back into "Vibyl."  One of the band's latest singles, "Get Loud," would ultimately close out the first set with a bang.

The second set opened up with a heavy-hitting take on "You Don't Say," which moved segued into the vintage jam "Grow."  Two more of the band's newer tunes would follow in "Walk To The Light" and "World Go Round," the latter of which seems to have developed into consistent, lengthy jam.  Guitarist Hunter Brown then fired into the opening notes of "Hubble," the second track off of the band's 1998 debut release Interplanetary Escape Vehicle.  Another brand new tune, "Out Of This World," would follow and segue into "1103," which ultimately led back into "Out Of This World."  The decision to close out the second set with the always energetic "Frequencies 2" > "Frequencies 3" seemed like a perfect fit and was very well received by the rowdy Nashville crowd. 

The story of this show was undoubtedly the surprise three-song encore.  As the band busted into "Supercluster," another brand new track from The Universe Inside, it's highly unlikely that anyone in attendance was predicting what would follow.  The band called on long-time collaborator and guest vocalist Maureen Murphy, along with the choir featuring Moiba Mustapha, Kendra Chantelle Campbell, and Emoni Wilkins for a double dose of Pink Floyd.  Being the first time that STS9 has touched the Pink Floyd catalog, you can imagine the response from the crowd as it witnessed the band working through the classics "Brain Damage" and "Eclipse."  This would cap off a evening in Nashville that won't be forgotten anytime soon and will only add steam to an already heavy fall tour for STS9.

Watch a live segment of the show via YouTube user Michael Wilker here:

Setlist - STS9 - War Memorial Auditorium - Nashville, TN - 11.03.15 

Set I: Forest Hu > Really Wut > 4 Year Puma, F Word, MOD*, Surreality > EB, Vibyl > The Message% > Vibyl, Get Loud
Set II: You Don't Say > Grow, Walk to the Light, World Go Round, Hubble, Out of this World > 1103 > Out of this World > Frequencies 2 > Frequencies 3
Encore: Supercluster > Brain Damage$^ > Eclipse $^
Notes: * Modular Jam
% Grandmaster Flash cover
$ featuring Maureen Murphy and Choir (Moiba Mustapha, Kendra Chantelle Campbell and Emoni Wilkins)
^ Pink Floyd cover (first time played)

Watch STS9's Entire 20th Anniversary Red Rocks Show September 10, 2016 13:31


Photo by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

Live electronic veterans STS9 kicked off its annual weekend run at Red Rocks Amphitheatre on Friday night, and the band couldn't be coming in on a more positive note.  Friday night marked STS9's 20th performance at the famed venue, and they come in fresh off of releasing their latest album, The Universe Inside.  The show featured a numbered of debuts from the album, including the two opening songs "Supercluster" and "Out Of This World."  An additional highlight came in the form of a guest appearance from vocalist Maureen Murphy on a cover of The Isley Brothers' "Between The Sheets," a song known by many thanks to Notorious B.I.G. and his use of samples on "Big Poppa." Murphy would ultimately return for an encore performance of the STS9 classic "Better Day," which featured Alana Rocklin on stand up bass and was followed by the debut of "Light Years."  Fortunately, YouTube user J Mar has shared his footage from the show, and a full setlist courtesy of Church of STS9 can be found below.  STS9 returns to the Red Rocks stage on Saturday night for what is sure to be a historic two-night run.

Watch STS9's entire 20th anniversary show at Red Rocks here:

Setlist: STS9 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre - Morrison, CO - 09.09.16

Set 1: Supercluster(*#)> Out of this World(*%)> Frequencies 2>3, To The World, March, Gobnugget>> Between the Sheets($&)>> Reemergence>> Between the Sheets, Vibyl(@), New Dawn, New Day

Set 2: Simulator> Grow, The Rabble>> Call Jam>> The Rabble, Elsewhere(*), Sun, Moon and Stars($*), Blu Mood> MOD>> Modular Improv>> MOD, World Go Round

Encore: Better Day($!), Light Years(*)

  • Show Notes:
  • * = first time played
  • # = band wearing space helmets
  • % = HB technical difficulties throughout song
  • $ = w/ Maureen Murphy on vocals
  • & = Isley Brothers Cover
  • @ = extended jam of Grandmaster Flash’s “The Message”
  • ? = Modular Jam
  • ! = Alana on Stand Up Bass

STS9 Will Play Oak Mountain Amphitheatre With GRiZ: Friday 10/29 August 30, 2016 11:10

Veteran jamtronic act STS9 has announced it's return to the Birmingham area, and this particular show will lead them to an even bigger stage.  The band will play it's first headlining show at Oak Mountain Amphitheatre in Pelham on Friday, October 29th with support from producer GRiZ, another rising star in the jam scene.  Tickets will start at only $20 through the Labor Day Holiday Weekend (through 9/5 at 11:59PM CT).  Head over to STS9's official tour page for further details.

STS9 is an instrumental band whose sound is based heavily on instrumental rock and electronic music, funk, jazz, drum and bass, psychedelia, and hip hop, originating in Georgia, USA. Self-described as "post-rock dance music," the band mixes standard live rock instrumentation with electronics, favoring group rhythm over individual solos.

STS9 has released 11 albums, two remixed albums (Artifact: Perspectives & the Peaceblaster: Make it Right Remixes), and multiple live DVDs (Live as Time Changes, Axe The Cables, and various live performances) on their own label 1320 Records.  STS9 has toured the US nationally and internationally, ranking among Pollstar Magazine’s list of top-grossing touring acts, with a heavy presence in the music festival circuit.

Grant Kwiecinski, also known by his stage name GRiZ, is an American DJ and electronic producer from Michigan.  He is known for playing the saxophone along with producing funk, electro-soul, and self-described future-funk.

Listen to STS9's new single "Get Loud" via Spotify here:


STS9 Announces Halloween Show at The Georgia Theatre August 22, 2016 11:30

Photo by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

Electronic rock veterans STS9 have revealed their 2016 Halloween plans, which will lead the band back to the famed Georgia Theatre in Athens, GA on Monday, October 31st.  The show was first announced earlier this morning via the Georgia Theatre's Facebook page, which states that tickets go on sale this Friday, August 26th at 10:00 AM EST.  Following what is sure to be a huge weekend at the annual Suwannee Hulaween festival, Tribe fans can be confident that this will make for another epic night with STS9 in Athens.  

STS9 recently revealed the title of their new album, The Universe Inside, along with three tracks, "Supercluster," "Get Loud," and "Give and Take," which can be streamed via Spotify below.  The Universe Inside will be the follow up to the 2009 release Ad Explorata and is scheduled for release on September 2nd (according to an listing).

Listen to the sampler from STS9's new album here:

Watch STS9 perform "Better Day" > "By The Morning Sun" with Maureen Murphy (vocals) in Athens in March of 2015 here:

Video by Seth Jacobs: Heady Flair

A Weekend In Review: The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival August 12, 2016 13:08

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

Words by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

Year in and year out, music fans can count on summertime presenting an overwhelming variety of options to satisfy their musical appetite.  The vast majority of national acts pack their schedules with gigs from coast to coast, and it seems as if there is a major music festival every weekend.  Last weekend was the quintessential example, as Ohio-based jam/rock band The Werks hosted it's annual "homecoming" weekend: The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival.   

The Werk Out began in 2010 at Zane Shawnee Cavernsan indian reservation with underground crystal caves in Bellefontaine, Ohio.  The festival quickly outgrew that area and relocated to Legend Valley in Thornville, Ohio, where it has now been held for the past five years.  After hearing the rave reviews over the past few years and diving deep into The Werks' catalog, I knew that this was the year for a summer journey from Alabama and Ohio.  This ended up being easily one of my best decisions in recent memory.

From the moment we arrived on Thursday afternoon, the positive vibes were flowing from every angle.  An enthusiastic, welcoming staff directed our group to a prime camping spot, and we made at least 10 new friends before the campsite was even completed.  While there are numerous elements of The Werks that I have come to love, it's the positive culture that surrounds the band really seals the deal.  

Upon entering the festival grounds for the first time, Chris Houser (lead guitar - The Werks) was playing on the main stage with his very first band, Cheezcake, who set a perfect tone for the weekend.  Shortly after, we had the pleasure of catching several tunes from Sassafraz, a super talented group from Columbus which produced The Werks' newest band member, Jake Goldberg (bass).  Our first journey to the "Big Tent" led us to Mister F, who provided some serious funk prior to Dopapod taking the main stage.

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

Dopapod has quickly become one of the jam/festival scenes hottest acts, and their success is justified with every performance.  Watching those guys perform, with a beautiful sunset in the distance, made for a very special moment early on.  We even got to sing "Happy Birthday" to the bands audio engineer/light designer Luke Stratton, as the band called him to the stage for a cake presentation.  Shortly after sunset, the crowd shifted just a matter of feet to the "Side Stage," where America's favorite power funk army Turkuaz ignited one of the biggest dance parties of the weekend.  It's truly amazing to witness the production and chemistry of this band in person.  They advertise "power funk," and they absolutely deliver "power funk."

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

The main stage was now set for the weekend's first set from The Werks, who took the stage fully participating in the evening's "track suit" theme.  The band came out firing with classics such as "For Today," "For You," and "Fire Eater," and even debuted a cover of Elton John's "The Circle of Life" from The Lion King.  A classic duel on the keys between Dan Shaw and special guest Todd Stoops occured during "G-Funk," before a massive "Hard to Find" > "Cloud Hopper" > "Hard to Find" would close out the set.  This was particularly satisfying, as my last Werks festival set was cut short when a nasty thunderstorm hit during "Cloud Hopper" at AURA earlier this year.  Another cover was debuted for the encore when the band busted out "Carry On My Wayward Son" by Kansas.  Somehow or another, Lettuce was up next for a late night set in the big tent, and night one at The Werk Out couldn't have been much hotter.

Watch The Werks perform "G-Funk" with special guest Todd Stoops here:

Video by izeoftheworldphotos

Photos by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

Day two at Legend Valley picked up right where Thursday left off, and the party was alive and well in The Big Tent by early afternoon.  The Big Damn Jam served as a touching tribute to Norman Dimitrouleas, the former keyboardist of The Werks who tragically passed away in January of this year.  Norman had always wanted the band to play The Beatles' Abbey Road in it's entirety, and his brother Dino, Todd Stoops, and many others performed the album in epic fashion.  Next up was an early afternoon dose of heavy funk courtesy of Kung Fu, a band that always brings the party and never disappoints.  

Anyone that has been to a music festival understands that you have to be strategic; often leaving one set earlier than you would like to in order to catch one of those "must see" bands.  This was the story of Friday afternoon, but that's definitely not a bad problem to have.  It was now time for CBDB to kick off a 60-minute set it in The Big Tent.  These guys never cease to amaze me.  This would be the band's first performance with bassist Mike Sinopole, and you would've thought he'd been with the band for years.  The highlight of the set came in the form of two debuts: a cover of the Grateful Dead's "Loose Lucy" followed by a brand new original, "She's Mobile."  I can't help but predict very big things to come for CBDB in the near future.

Photo by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

We quickly made it back to the main stage as Twiddle kicked off their set with the classic "Jamflowman."  It had been way too long since I had seen these guys, and I was quickly reminded why they have really blown up recently.  Fortunately, they were scheduled for an additional set on Saturday, which allowed me to scoot back over to The Big Tent just in time for Backup Planet, one of the most promising young bands I have seen in years.  I was introduced to this band earlier this year at AURA Music & Arts Festival, when they delivered one of my favorite sets of the weekend.  These guys managed to exceed some very high expectations.  Backup Planet is the real deal, and they might have the best cover of "Whipping Post" that I've ever heard.

Photo by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

Dopapod was now back on the main stage for another amazing sunset performance, only to be followed by a wildly energetic set on the side stage from live electronic act Zoogma.  I've had the pleasure of watching Zoogma work their way up from the college bar scene to the national festival scene, and I couldn't be happier for their success.  You get everything from electronic blues/rock to hip-hop with Zoogma, and how could you not get down to that?

The stage was now set for one of the weekend's biggest moments: two full sets of STS9.  There was a significant number of the Tribe faithful who came to The Werk Out specifically for this moment, and they were rewarded with a stellar festival performance.  The first set had two extremely unfortunate moments; the first of which involved a fan hopping on stage, climbing on drummer Zach Velmer's kit, and taking a trust fall onto the drummer mid-song.  Velmer handled the situation like the true professional that he is, and the band picked up right where they left off.  The set was then cut short due to technical/power issues, but the band returned for it's second set and gave Legend Valley an absolute gem.  The "Hubble" > "Orbital" > "Hubble" segue was as tight as anything I've heard from this band.  "World Go Round" made for an epic dance party to close out the set, and the "Breathe In" encore was simply perfect.  I couldn't have more respect for this band's response to a few unfortunate issues that were out of their control.

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

It was now time for The Werks to continue the party in the big tent, which some might have seen as a difficult task after two powerful sets of STS9.  The boys kicked things off with a bang as they worked through the powerful instrumental "Lights Out," followed by the first "Transformational" since November of 2015.  They even finished the "Cloudhopper" from Thursday night.  Dino Dimitrouleas returned to the stage for an extended jam on "Rollin," and two of my personal favorites, "Find Your Way" and "You're Not Alone," closed out the set in heavy fashion.  

You would think this had to be the end of the evening, but the most unique moment of the night was yet to come.  The stage was now set for Twerkapod, a one-time 90's tribute set featuring a rotating cast of members from The Werks, Dopapod, and Twiddle.  What proceeded after 2:30 AM was nothing short of beautiful, epic, and hilarious.  For a more detailed recap and video footage of the Twerkapod set, click here.

Watch Twerkapod perform Blues Traveler's "Run Around" here:

Video by Charles Izenstark: izeoftheworldphotos

As we entered the final day at Legend Valley, the positive energy was contagious, and we were faced with yet another killer lineup.  Broccoli Samurai kicked things off early on the main stage, and these guys blew my mind.  The Cleveland-based four-piece held down a ridiculously melodic groove from start to finish, and they have some of the best song titles I've ever heard of.  I'm really looking forward to following this band moving forward.  

Members of The Werks, Twiddle, and Greensky Bluegrass joined forces for the Matt Butler's Everyone Orchestra, which opened things up for some truly amazing improv jamming.  I had heard a lot about this project over the years, but this was my first time witnessing it in person.  The constantly rotating cast always brings something new to each stage, and watching this collection of musicians in this capacity was a definite highlight.  BIG Something proceeded to absolutely crush the side stage, while The Werks headed over to the VIP tent for a three-song acoustic set which included Neil Young's "Cortez the Killer," "Fall," and "Better Than Before."  This was my first time seeing these guys in an acoustic setting, and it only further affirmed how diverse this band can be.

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

Greensky Bluegrass was next up on the main stage for one of the most anticipated sets of the weekend.  We took advantage of the grass hill back toward the vendors to enjoy the set full of all of the Greensky classics.  It had been quite some time since I'd had the pleasure of seeing these guys live, and damn...they were amazing.  They even brought out Mihali Savoulidis from Twiddle for "Last Winter in Copper County."  As soon as Greensky finished, Twiddle would take the side stage by storm for their second set of the weekend, which featured many of my favorites, such as "Be There," "Lost in the Cold," Syncopated Healing," and "Frankenfoote."  

Watch video footage of Greensky Bluegrass w/ Mihali Savoulidis of Twiddle here:

Video by Charles Izenstark: izeoftheworldphotos

The main stage was now set for what you could easily call the weekend's main event.  The Werks were slated for two sets, and they took the stage in full tuxedos.  "Alive" kicked off the set and bust outs of "Give or Take" and "Cruel Stone Blues" would follow.  The always powerful "OG" ultimately led into a cover of Edgar Winter Group's "Frankenstein" which closed out the first set in epic fashion.  "Drop" kicked off the second set, which has to be one of the most clever songs in recent history.  An extended "Werk Out Jam" moved into an "Immigrant Song Jam," and things truly took off from there.  

The sequence of "Finding Destiny" > "Galactic Passport" > "Finding Destiny" > "Galactic Passport" > "Finding Destiny" was on another level.  A raging rendition of "Onslaught" provided a classic Werks rager to close the second set.  The decision to encore with "Carry Me Back Home" came as no surprise, as the emotional tune had not been played since prior to the passing of Norman Dimitrouleas.  Dino returned to the stage for this one, which was an emotional, touching tribute to say the least.  Midway through the song, Rob Chafin addressed the audience and invited the entire Werk Out crew to the stage for the song's closing chorus. 

Watch the "Finding Destiny" > "Galactic Passport" sequence here:

Watch The Werks' perform "Carry Me Back Home" here:

Videos by Charles Izenstark: izeoftheworldphotos

As many readers will understand, you're just never going to make it to every set that you plan for over the course of a weekend festival.  After three full days and two very late nights, I didn't have it in me to make it back over to The Big Tent for the two remaining sets from The Motet and Earphunk (Daft Phunk).  This was defintely my biggest regret of the weekend, but as the old saying goes, "You can't make 'em all."  There was a noticeable buzz amongst the campground surrounding both late night sets, and it sounds like Earphunk went above and beyond, with a set that went far beyond the time they were obligated to play until.  This came as no surprise, as that's the type of performance that those guys are known to give.  

As I wrap up what is easily one of the longest articles in the history of this website, I can't help but wonder if there is anyone who has actually continued reading to this point.  For anyone who has, thank you for reading through my memories of this amazing weekend.  There is no brief or concise way to justifiably recount this experience.  When thousands of fans come from every corner of the country to gather in the spirit of music and art, it is truly a beautiful thing.  The Werk Out was circled on my calendar for several months, and the anticipation which surrounded it was very real.  My expectations couldn't have been much higher, and they were exceeded each and every night.  I can't say enough about the job that Rob Chafin and the entire Werks crew has done in building and growing this festival into what it has become.  The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival was an experience that I will never forget, and I can't wait to return in 2017.

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

STS9 Announces New Album; Releases First Single "Get Loud" August 3, 2016 11:05

Photo by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

STS9 teased the details on it's latest album on Tuesday, providing the simple message of "soon we launch our newest message into space."  The veteran jamtronic five-piece revealed their new albums title, The Universe Inside, along with their first single, "Get Loud," which can be streamed via Spotify below.  The Universe Inside will be the follow up to the 2009 release Ad Explorata and is scheduled for release on September 2nd (according to an listing).  

STS9 is an instrumental band whose sound is based heavily on instrumental rock and electronic music, funk, jazz, drum and bass, psychedelia, and hip hop, originating in Georgia, USA. Self-described as "post-rock dance music," the band mixes standard live rock instrumentation with electronics, favoring group rhythm over individual solos.

STS9 has released 11 albums, two remixed albums (Artifact: Perspectives & the Peaceblaster: Make it Right Remixes), and multiple live DVDs (Live as Time Changes, Axe The Cables, and various live performances) on their own label 1320 Records.  STS9 has toured the US nationally and internationally, ranking among Pollstar Magazine’s list of top-grossing touring acts, with a heavy presence in the music festival circuit.

Listen to STS9's new single "Get Loud" via Spotify here:

The Universe Inside Tracklist

1. Supercluster
2. Out of This World
3. Get Loud
4. Light Years
5. Totem
6. World Go Round
7. Give & Take
8. Elsewhere
9. Sun Moon & Stars
10. New Dawn, New Day
11. Worry No More
12. Common Descent
13. The Universe Inside

Looking Ahead To The Werk Out: An Interview With Rob Chafin June 8, 2016 16:11


Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

Interview by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

We recently had a chance to catch up with Rob Chafin (drums/vocals) of The Werks, in an effort to learn more about one of the summer's hottest festivals, The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival.  In addition to handling the duties behind the kit for The Werks, Rob also serves as talent buyer for The Werk Out, which is celebrating it's seventh anniversary in 2016.  The festival is scheduled for August 4th-6th at Legend Valley in Thornville, Ohio, featuring acts such as The Werks (three nights), STS9 (two sets), LettuceGreensky Bluegrass, DopapodTwiddle, and many more.  

Let's get started and talk a little Werk Out.  You guys started this festival in 2010, making this year number seven.  How did this idea come to life, and how have things progressed over the years? 

Rob: We started The Werk Out in 2010 at Zane Shawnee Caverns in Bellefontaine, Ohio.  It was an indian reservation with underground crystal caves, so it's not technically part of Ohio.  It was pretty ridiculous the first two years.  We quickly outgrew that area and moved it to Legend Valley, where the festival has been held for the past four years. Legend Valley is obviously historic with the Grateful Dead playing there, as well as bands like Pearl Jam, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and countless others throughout the year.  The Grateful Dead would have around 60,000 people out there.  It is literally Legend Valley.  It's an honor to be able to have our party there now.  This is certainly on the trajectory of being the biggest Werk Out, by far.     

It's great to see the universal growth of the bands on this lineup, like Dopapod, Twiddle, Greensky, and of course The Werks.  Last year you guys brought in Umphrey's McGee, and this year it's Sound Tribe Sector 9.  I look at this festival as a collection of the best bands in the jam scene. 

Rob: Well thanks man.  It's definitely great being a musician as the talent buyer because I’m able to be in the trenches, see who are absolutely killing it and bring them to the festival.  Luckily, a lot of these bands are our friends!  It's amazing to look back at all of the bands who have played The Werk Out.  Having STS9 and Umphrey’s at our event is truly an honor.  Even GRiZ played back in 2013 when he was getting started, and he's absolutely huge now.  The Floozies are blowing up.  Greensky Bluegrass played back in 2012, and now they're back as a headliner...watching Dopapod grow every year.  It's absolutely incredible.  

 Watch The Werks perform "Onslaught" at The Werk Out 2015 here:

It really is.  Aside from the established acts and those you have known for years, how do you go about filling out the lineup with the up-and-comers?   

Rob:  I'm definitely always looking for the new up-and-coming acts. There is definitely a long waiting list, because while we try not to repeat everyone every year, but there are typically only a few open slots each year.  We try to keep it new and interesting.  We try to see who's been killing it lately and bring them to the party.  I'm always on the lookout for great musicians, songwriters, and of course great drummers, but I might be a little biased there (laughs).  

Click Here: Purchase Tickets To The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival

You guys have put together several epic tribute sets in recent years.  In 2014, it was The Werks, Papadosio, and Dopapod performing Dark Side of the Moon.  What other tributes have you guys done in the past?  Let's hear a little more about the Twerkapod Tribute to the 90's this year. 

Rob: Whenever we get to collaborate with our friends, it's always fun for us. We had a blast doing Dark Side of the Moon with Papadosio and Dopapod.  So of course with Dopapod, we already know it's gonna be fun to do this 90's cover set with them.  We went on tour for the entire fall last year with Twiddle, and we had some many epic superjams with them.  To be able to involve them and bring them to The Werk Out for their first year is really exciting.  We're gonna throw down and play some awesome 90's covers with some of our best friends!   

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

How do you go about selecting the setlist from such a diverse decade of music?  Have you finalized which songs will make the cut yet? 

Rob: Yeah, we already have the songs picked out.  It's top secret, classified information, of course (laughs).  I can tell you one thing though.  It starts at 2:30 in the morning, so get your beauty rest the night before! 

Wow...that's going to be epic.  So in 2014, the famous Furthur bus stopped by The Werk Out.  Is that something that has happened in the past? 

Rob: So they were doing a tour that summer.  They hit a lot of festivals, like Gathering of the Vibes and a lot of the really big ones.  We were lucky enough for them to choose The Werk Out as one of their stops.  We played "Cryptical" > "The Other One" > "Cryptical" and had Zane and Derrick come out and kind of bless the crowd beforehand (laughs).  It was really cool.  They had a blast, and we would love to have the bus come around again. 

Watch The Werks perform the Grateful Dead's "Cryptical" > "The Other One" > "Cryptical" at The Werk Out here:


I cant say enough about the quality of HD video footage from The Werk Out.  You guys really capture the essence of the festival and give those unable to attend a nice taste of what it's all about. 

Rob: Of course...Jeremy Sewell is one of the best in the business.  We're very lucky to have him on board. 

No doubt about that.  So aside from the music, what other activities do you guys offer at The Werk Out? 

Rob:  We have a lot of other things going on.  While it's a music festival, it's specifically a music and arts festival.  We definitely have a lot of interactive art installations.  We have over 50 live painters, and a lot of performers and fire spinners.  There's yoga in the mornings.  We have an entire workshop dome, where people are presenting workshops ranging from philosophical and introspective workshops all the way to how to make ice cream.  We also have the VIP room for meet and greets and what not. 

I think the biggest thing is that it's BYOB.  We don't sell alcohol at the festival, so everyone can bring in their own.  There is no festival of our size that does that.  We don't really advertise it, but that's how we want it.  It's one of the things I learned as a festival goer.  As an event producer, it's great to have the perspective of being in a band and an avid festival goer.  It's a rare opportunity to see all angles and try to accommodate as best as possible. 

The little things like that really go a long way.  Attention to detail and that type of decision making are a big reason why this festival has become what it is today.  You guys obviously know what it takes to throw a successful festival.  What do you feel are some of the most important factors of establishing a building an annual music and arts festival? 

Rob: First and foremost, it's crucial to have an amazing support staff and team.  We're lucky to have some of the best in the business.  The vibe is crucial.  The vibe starts with the staff and the artists, and it works its way to the fans.  When the staff and artists are all vibing, and everything is running smooth, I feel like that vibrates to the music, the crowd, and everything else.  I've always looked for that and making sure we have that strong core team.  We feel like the artists are family to us.  Listening to the fans is also crucial.  You have to talk with everyone and see what they want.  That's a big part of it, while still sticking to your guns.

Photo by Josh Timmermans: Noble Visions

Click Here: Purchase Tickets To The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival

Follow The Werk Out Music & Arts Festival on Facebook

Future Rock Releases Fifth Studio Album 'Long Ago' May 16, 2016 16:31

Words by Brett Hutchins: Live & Listen

With Chicago being the birthplace of American electronic music, it should be no surprise to see bands emerging regularly from the city. Electronica trio Future Rock continues to do just that with their latest release, Long AgoAs a live act, the bass-drums-keyboard trio has built a reputation for scorching, full-throttle, multi-sensory experiences and is a hit on the Windy City scene. 

One of the main criticisms you often hear about electronic and especially house music is that such heavy emphasis on groove takes away from the actual song.  With this latest record, it’s clear the band’s intention was to turn that idea on its head.  

Listen to Future Rock's new album Long Ago here:

The most obvious way they achieved this was with the use of Chicago-based Americana singer-songwriter Anna Soltys. On paper the combo may seem like a stretch, but her vocal presence on four of the seven tracks works magnificently, creating a grounded, moodier aesthetic and a sense of lyricism that’s both nostalgic and hopeful of the future at the same time. Lead track “Take It Back” is the best example of this, with a house backbeat and lyrics encouraging the listener to follow through on things long forgotten.  

Don’t let the subdued vocals fool you into thinking this record is not a party, though. The standout track for me is instrumental “Pathfinder”, with tempo changes and styles that snake from a basic reverb-laden intro to drum and bass to majestic keyboard-driven heights. 

Watch Future Rock perform "Pathfinder" here:


Future Rock also went out on a limb and rented a professional recording studio for the first time in its career. Tibault Bowman – you may recognize him as futuristic house act Thibault - was recruited to produce the record. That combo of fresh tools and gifted people has given the band the sound they were after – one that embraces both groove and memorable tunes. 

In a sign of the times and the forward-thinking approach of the band, Future Rock’s entire discography is available for free on its website. The new release “Long Ago” is also available on 1320 Records, record label of electronic rock pioneers STS9. 

Official Website: Future Rock

 Follow Future Rock on Facebook

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STS9 Announces Two-Night Red Rocks Run in September April 12, 2016 15:48

Photo by Taylor Wallace / iWally Photography

STS9 has announced it's return to Red Rocks Park & Amphitheatre in 2016.  The band is set to play the famous venue on Friday, September 9th and Saturday, September 10th, marking the band's 20th performance at the famed venue.  Fan Club and VIP tickets go on sale Thursday (4/14) at 10AM MST via TixR (*) :  After that, remaining tickets go on-sale through at 10am MST on Friday (4/15).  Tickets start at $39.75. Two Day passes are also available.

A very limited amount of 2-Day VIP Passes will also be available and include:

(1) VIP ticket each night including exclusive VIP viewing area
(1) Early Entry both nights
(1) Commemorative Laminate
(1) Limited Edition Red Rocks show Pin
(1) Commemorative event poster signed by the band
(1) free digital download of each show

These VERY limited tickets are $249.00

STS9 encourages fans to sign up for an account with their ticket provider, TixR, so you're ready to go at 10am Thursday (for those that have used in the past, please note this is a new ticket system for pre-sales - you must register for a new account through TixR!

Watch STS9 perform "Pianor" on 09.06.14 at Red Rocks here:

STS9 Announces Special Two-Night Run in Atlanta/Alpharetta March 21, 2016 11:35

STS9 has announced a special two-night run in Atlanta/Alpharetta this summer. The Georgia natives will play The Tabernacle on Friday August 26th, followed by three sets at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park in Alpharetta on Saturday, August 27th. Saturday night will include an opening set of "Axe the Cables".

Tickets go on sale this Thursday at 10am ET exclusively through STS9 fan club ticketing, including 2-day passes, and VIP & GA single day tickets to the Saturday show starting at $19.99.  Tickets for the Friday show are only available as part of a 2-day pass with the Saturday show.  Many more details to follow in the next 48 hours.

If you're traveling to Atlanta, STS9 has compiled the best lodging rates to make your planning easy:

STS9 Lights Up Birmingham's Iron City November 19, 2015 11:35

Words and Photos by Jordan Kirkland: Live & Listen

Five-piece, instrumental jam outfit STS9 continued their 2015 Autumn Tour last night, taking the stage at Birmingham's Iron City, one of the Southeasts premier intimate venues.  In the midst of a red hot run through the southeast, expectations were high as the hype surrounding STS9 2.0 has only built stronger throughout 2015.  The Sector 9 faithful arrived with force, creating the energy and perfect atmosphere for what was to come.

Set 1 kicked off in super funky fashion with "Call Jam > Tap In," before an explosive take on "Kabuki," an old school favorite which sent the evening into full stride. The heavier, electronic side of STS9 was showcased with "Grizzly," building an energy which would never let down.  Guitarist Hunter Brown was firing on all cylinders during "Frequencies 2 > 3" before "Totem" seemed to have the whole room marching in place. A seamless transition into "Hubble" gave Birmingham it's first taste from Interplanetary Escape Vehicle, the groups first studio release from 1998.  

Hunter Brown (guitar) of STS9

Another beautiful segue made way for "Orbital."  Alana Rocklin (bass) and Zach Velmer (drums) carried the tempo and led some lengthy jamming before a segue back into "Hubble."  The raucous Birmingham crowd was given a moment to catch their breath before the set's final jam, "Nautilus > Aimlessly."  The rejuvenated creativity that we have seen with STS9 2.0 shined during "Nautilus," and Rocklin carried the jam perfectly into "Aimlessly."  The hype surrounding this tour was validated to say the least, and you knew that the second set would be big.

After a brief intermission, the lights dimmed and STS9 was back for what quickly became the best set I have seen from this band.  I'm far from an expert, and I have not followed STS9 as closely as many others, but this one was special.  The band picked up rigth where they left off with "Really Wut?," which includes a vocal sample during the intro reminiscent of something from Queen (at least that's how it felt at the time).  Another perfect segue made way for the "Four Year Puma," another gem from Interplanetary Escape Vehicle that builds and builds until it sends the crowd into an absolute frenzy.  Puma has always been a personal favorite of mine, and they built it beautifully on this night.  

STS9 @ Iron City Bham - 11.18.15

Another famliar vocal sample opened things up for the spacey "Scheme Reprise," one of the band's more electronic tunes from the 2011 release, When The Dust Settles. The room erupted once again as the intro to "King Pharaoh's Tomb" hit; another heavy hitting old school Sector 9 jam.  "Breathe In" was next, and I could talk about this song for days.  One of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard from any band, "Breath In" is an absolute journey, giving you a taste of just about everything STS9 has to offer.  Another heavy hitter came in "When The Dust Settles," which I figured to be the set closer.  I was wrong, and the number one song I came to hear, "Ramone & Emiglio," was tacked on, just for safe measure.  Honestly, this seemed to good to be true, and I could not have drawn up a much more enticing STS9 set.  David Phipps' piano-led outro towards the end of R&E always gets me, and it was perfect on Wednesday night in Birmingham.  

It seemed as if there were only a few viable options for an encore for this show, "Baraka" being one of them.  One of the band's prettiest, most peaceful melodies was a perfect choice to wind down an absolute rager of a show.  Once again, I'm no expert, but any night with STS9 that ends with "Baraka" is a great night.  It had been over a year since seeing this band, with my last show being October 25th, 2014 in Asheville, NC.  That show was cut short due to some unfortunate circumstances in the crowd, and I was eager to shake that strange feeling that has lingered for quite some time.  This was a truly inspiring performance from a band that never ceases to blow my mind.  The chemistry that STS9 has found with Alana Rocklin is truly special.  Their creativity and attention to detail seem to be at an all time high, and it's a great feeling to see such consistent positivity surrounding this band once again.  Those headed to New Orleans, Austin, and Dallas are in for a treat, as there is no question that this tour will end in epic fashoin. 

Setlist: STS9 @ Iron City Bham - Birmingham, AL - 11.18.15

SET I:  Call Jam > Tap In, Kabuki, Grizzly, Frequencies 2 > 3, Totem > Hubble > Orbital > Hubble, Nautilus > Aimlessly

SET II:  Really Wut?* > Four Year Puma, Scheme Reprise, King Pharaoh's Tomb , Breathe In, When The Dust Settles, Ramone & Emiglio

ENCORE:  Baraka

* - Modular jam

David Phipps (piano) of STS9

STS9 @ Iron City Bham - 11.18.15

David Phipps and Hunter Brown

Alana Rocklin

 Hunter Brown

STS9 @ Iron City Bham - 11.18.15

STS9 @ Iron City Bham - 11.18.15

Phases of the Moon Music & Art Festival Has Been Cancelled September 1, 2015 14:40

Photo via Brian Glass - Phases of the Moon Music & Arts Festival

We are saddened to report that one of this Fall's biggest music festivals, Phases of the Moon Music & Art Festival, has been cancelled.  The festival was scheduled for Friday, October 16th - Sunday, October 18th on Mulberry Mountain in Ozark, Arkansas.  This years lineup boasted the likes of The Disco Biscuits, STS9, moe., Yonder Mountain String Band, Lunar Landing Conspiracy, Lettuce, Leftover Salmon, The Motet, Beats Antique, Papadosio, The Werks, The New Mastersounds, and many many more.  The festival was first held last year at Kennekuh County Park in Danville, Illinois (September 11th - 14th, 2014).  See below for a message from festival organizers.  

Dear Phases of the Moon Community,
It saddens us to inform you that Phases of the Moon Music & Art Festival has to be canceled. We were very excited to have had the opportunity to continue the Phases adventure in Arkansas this year. Unfortunately, due to a significant number of unforeseen obstacles, including the continued closure of the only road leading into the festival site, we were left with no choice but to cancel the event. We apologize sincerely for this inconvenience and hope to see all of you at great live music and events in the near future. A separate notice will be sent to ticket holders concerning refunds.
Thank you for your love and support.
The Phases Team

STS9 Releases 2015 Autumn Tour Dates July 24, 2015 11:26

Photo via BitTorrentBlog

STS9 has officially released their highly anticipated Autumn 2015 Tour Dates.  The tour kicks off on Thursday, October 22nd at First Avenue in Minneapolis, MN.  A total of 22 dates are included on the tour, spanning across the Midwest, East Coast, Southeast, and out to Texas.   Fan Club On Sale begins next Wed 7/29 at 10am local time for each city, exclusively at  See below for the complete tour list, and stay tuned to STS9's Official Website and Facebook page for all future updates!

STS9 Autumn 2015 Tour Dates

October 22 – Minneapolis, MN – First Avenue
October 23 – Madison, WI – Orpheum Theater
October 24 – Detroit, MI – The Fillmore
October 25 – Buffalo, NY – Town Ballroom
October 28 – Cleveland, OH – House of Blues
October 29 – Columbus, OH – LC Pavilion
October 30 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE
October 31 – Silver Spring, MD – The Fillmore
November 01 – Live Oak, FL – Suwannee Hulaween
November 05 – New York, NY – Best Buy Theater
November 06 – Boston, MA – House of Blues
November 07 – Philadelphia, PA – The Fillmore
November 08 – Richmond, VA – The National
November 11 – Charlotte, NC – The Fillmore
November 12 – Raleigh, NC – The Ritz
November 13 – Knoxville, TN – Tennessee Theatre
November 14 – Nashville, TN – War Memorial Auditorium
November 15 – Columbia, SC – Music Farm
November 18 – Birmingham, AL – Iron City Music Hall
November 19 – New Orleans, LA – Joy Theater
November 20 – Austin, TX – Austin Music Hall
November 21 – Dallas, TX – House of Blues

STS9 Official Website

STS9 on Facebook