sts9-red-rocks-hardaker-photo-12Another night of funky goodness from two class acts. Michal Menert opened in fine fashion, bringing his earthy tones, bass wobbles, and joyful blend of electrofunk to the stage for a perfect opening set. Then, Sound Tribe delivered with over 3 hours of spectacular tunes spread over two sets. Here’s a recap of what went down.

The show took place at the Wiltern theater, one of LA’s premier concert destinations. Beautiful ceilings, tiered floors, and an impeccable sound system combine to provide the perfect venue for all sorts of madness. I arrived around 9 PM, just in time to get a wristband for pit entry (released on a first-come, first-serve basis). Menert played through tracks like ‘Summer Love,’ frantically jamming at MPCs and flawlessly transitioning from jam to jam. Menert is an all-around class act, performing in a sport-coat while delving deep into his own melodies, body swaying in tune with the beat. His set ended at about 9:30, and the stage was quickly set for STS9 to begin their first set.

Sound Tribe is one of the best-loved bands I’ve encountered, appealing to fans of both electronic and jam-band genres. They recently replaced their bassist, David Murphy, with Alana Rocklin, who simply kills it every time. She opened things up with a dramatic stand-up bass solo, with bandmates quickly joining in. Their first set was impeccably executed, dramatic builds playing off of brief moments of respite as the genres harkened to everything from funk to disco. Lights danced across the crowd, providing the perfect accompaniment to music straight from Sector 9. Very few artists are able to open up another sort of space, one where time ceases its rapid flow-and STS9 fit squarely within that category.

After a brief intermission, the band returned for a much heavier and funkier second set, venturing into hip hop beats before drummer Zach Velmer sped things up and almost into drum and bass territory. The second half of the performance felt a bit looser than the first half, which is a good thing with groups as talented as STS9-the more improvisation, the better. Overall, the set felt much more staccato than performances at festivals like High Sierra and Snowball, but the setlist fit the venue and the headline slot nicely.