STS9 at North Coast Music Festival

September 1st, 2012: As seen on Time Out Chicago (PDF)

Cutting through the wafts of pot smoke and “doses” whispers that have become just as North Coast as neon “rage” hats and glow sticks, STS9 delivered a clean space-rock closing set at the end of the festival’s first night. Starched oxfords and black ties in tow, the quintet cued a digitized female voice, quoting bits of a 1920s spiritual poem about “desired things,” i.e. “The universe is unfolding as it should.” Not that the thousands of under-aged attendees speckled in glitter and some variation of a”party” tee—“Sorry For Partying”, “I’m Partying”, “Party With Sluts”—gave a flying you-know-what. In context or not, the extended 10-minute re-workings dug up from Peaceblaster (2008) and When The Dust Settles(2011) hit the Chicago skyline with a glistening impact. “All the powers of the universe are already yours,” the digital voice encouraged at the tail end of the set, as guitarist Hunter Brown nailed a sparkling guitar fill, while Jeffree Lerner engaged in earnest bongo patter. The voice finished the sentiment: “The universe has shouted itself alive. And you are one of those shouts.” Meanwhile, a kid sporting a “Party Rock Crew” t-shirt stumbled alone towards the edge of a baseball diamond to puke on his shoes.