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STARSET 09/15/2017

Vessels Tour 2017
September 15th, 2017
Sioux City, Iowa
Anthem at Hard Rock Casino

If tonight’s show was the first time you’ve attended one of Starset’s Demonstrations, you witnessed one of their best performances. Tonight marked my 12th time seeing Starset on stage, and it was without a doubt their best performance. In only a few short years, the band has managed to raise the bar on what a live concert experience should be.
A dozen of us were lucky enough to have attended the VIP acoustic pre-show, and meet and greet with the band. Normally a 2 or 3 song acoustic performance, after performing My Demons, Bates promised us that if he didn’t like their acoustic rendition of Die For You, one they’d never performed acoustically before, we’d get an extra song. Bates wasn’t too happy with the way Die For You transitioned acoustically, so Carnivore and the band’s cover of David Bowie’s Space Oddity followed.
Honestly speaking, if you get the chance, do not miss out on the band’s VIP Experience. It’s totally worth it.
The release of their debut single, Carnivore, initially gave fans a glimpse of what Starset have constructed, an elaborate mythos about their creation, of which the bands insists that each member was recruited by Dr. Aston Wise, founder of the Starset Society. The band’s sole mission is to spread continued awareness of varied and numerous scientific phenomena, specifically those ignored by society as a whole, or hidden in the dark corners of our world, away from public view. Tonight’ Demonstration, one of the longest performances in the band’s history, could have easily been parallel to the transmissions that have been broadcast from the constellation Ophiuchus, which are believed to be of human origin.
After minor technical difficulties with the band’s mother board, the stage lights dimmed, and the opening chords of Into the Unknown shattered the silence. The addition of live string, violinist and cellist, has brought a new level of creativity to the band’s Demonstrations. Tonight’s 17 song set was an amazing mixture of tracks from their debut release, Transmissions, and its 2017 follow-up Vessels.
For nearly an hour and a half, while bassist Ron DeChant and guitarist Brock Richards thrashed about their sides of the stage, vocalist and founder Dustin Bates paced the stage like a mad scientist trapped for too long in the lab. As the LCD screens behind DeChant and Richards flashed videos of super novas and comets soaring through space, Bates worked his mother board to additionally mix and add sonic depth to their live show.
The band’s style has appropriately been described as “Cinematic Rock” but their live shows, or Demonstrations, push the limits of what stylistically elaborate and ambitious rock shows should be.
Since their introduction in 2013, the band has retained the same core line-up, with drummer Adam “DrumAbuse” Gilbert rounding out the quartet, but have recently added violinist Siobhán Cronin and cellist Jonathan Kampfe to their live sets after having briefly toured with Mariko M when the band opened for In This Moment’s Black Widow tour in 2014.
Throughout their set, the guitar work for each song presented borrows from djent stylings, and “gets more ambient at times, using electronics at a more deeply integrated level,” as described by Bates. “Whereas the strings were more cinematic, there was more of a quartet before [on tracks from Transmissions], on this record [Vessels] it’s more of an orchestration.” Regardless of which genre the world decides to put Starset into, their music was created to be performed and shared live.
After the band’s core 14 song set, the unexpected happened. The band returned to the stage for a rare encore of Let It Die. After leaving the stage for a second time, Bates returned to thunderous applause and asked if there was any song in particular that we’d like to hear. The band’s second encore began with Telepathic. Bates then asked the crowd what we’d rather hear; Gravity of You, or Unbecoming? Gravity of You won, and the fans inside The Hard Rock Anthem became only the second crowd to hear the track played live.
Starset once again succeeded in taking the crowd on an incredible musical journey through the wormhole and back. Tonight’s experience will not soon be forgotten.


Into the Unknown


Down With the Fallen








My Demons

Bringing It Down

The Future Is Now


Let It Die


Gravity of You

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