Friday, January 02, 2009


Just like we did for New Years Eve 2006, we rang in the new year with a couple nights of our favorite band, STS9.

And as we wrote two years ago, STS9 plays instrumental jazzy electronica, intertwining a variety of beats (hip-hop, house, break, dub) with live guitar, piano, bass and drums to form a sonic tapestry of psychedelic, highly danceable music. These days most of the band members use laptops to incorporate a variety of pre-recorded samples into their music, especially with some of the newer songs.

The setting was downtown Atlanta, a little more than 4 hours from home.

Downtown Atlanta is a respectable destination these days, thanks to 15 years of revitalization. The CNN Center, the Georgia Dome and the world famous aquarium draw in visitors year-round.

Despite the attractions and the abundance of hotel rooms, however, the restaurant selection is pretty weak compared to other parts of Atlanta, and the downtown area is generally lacking in overall charm. The Olympic Centennial Park in these photos is the exception, providing some nice ambience for chilling outdoors.

A half mile from our hotel was the Georgia Dome, where football fans converged on New Years Eve for a major college bowl match-up between the LSU Tigers and the hometown Georgia Tech Yellowjackets.

Our destination, however, was the much smaller and more stately Tabernacle, a gorgeous 100 year old church that was converted to a top-notch music venue in conjunction with the 1996 Olympics.

The interior now features an eye-catching paint job, providing a festive ambience.

The 4-story building has several balconies and a pair of winding staircases.

On the upper levels, rooms that were formerly chambers now serve as cozy lounges, complete with couches and large screens for viewing the show in complete comfort.

The actual concert takes place in the former sanctuary, where up to 2600 people gather under under the giant chandelier.

We opted for seats near the front-center of the first balcony, where we had a nice view of the action. The only obstruction was the overhanging upper balcony, which partially blocks the sound from the PA system.

It was great to hang out with Jimmy, an old friend from our days in the San Francisco Bay Area. Jimmy runs STS9's live download site and has been known to travel far and wide to see these guys.

Our seats provided a great view of the band's simple but powerful light show.

To the side of the stage, a pair of artists painted their reaction to the music.

10...9...8...7...6...5...4...3...2...1...Happy New Year!!

Hugs, kisses and schwirl every where you look.

The music finally came to an end around 1:30am on New Years Day, and just about everybody seemed satisfied and pleased with the shows. We sure were!

While the band played four consecutive nights of music with no songs repeated, we only saw the final two nights. Here are the setlists:

Tuesday 12/30/2008
Inspire Strikes Back
The Spectacle
Dem Be
Empires >
Empires Remix >
(Ambient Interlude)
The New Soma

From Now On

Download the 12/30/2008 show here

Wednesday 12/31/2008
Set 1:

Really Wut?
Beyond Right Now
Bigs >
The Rabble
Looking Back On Earth

Set 2:
Hidden Hand, Hidden Fist
(countdown/Happy New Year)
Peaceblaster '68 >
Peaceblaster '08
The Unquestionable Supremacy of Nature
Evasive Maneuvers >
Surreality >
Evasive Maneuvers
New New 4 U U

What Is Love?
We'll Meet In Our Dreams >
Circus >
We'll Meet In Our Dreams

Download the 12/31/2008 show here

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