by Shane Patterson
When I first started listening to electronic music I had just begun college in 2008 and had one particular playlist I would always listen to while studying in the library or writing a paper; Ratatat’s album Classics and STS9‘s Artifact. It was these two albums and this playlist I have to thank for bringing me into the scene of EDM and the world of PLUR, a universe full of love and happiness.
As a freshman in college I would constantly listen to this playlist and over time my music tastes would expand, but these particular two albums will always hold a special place in my heart; just as Blink-182 will always hold a special spot in my punk-heart. For years I listened to these two albums over and over and over, never becoming bored from the melodic jams or tired of the smooth relaxing beats.
Fast forward to last year in Michigan when I went to Electric Forest 2016 where lo and behold, STS9 played. After years of listening to them I finally had a chance to see them live (granted, that one of the many reasons why I chose Electric Forest over other festivals that summer). It was finally my chance to see them live and in person. Needless to say, and those who have been to large festivals before can attest, I saw them, but I didn’t actually see them; my level of coherence was iffy at best and after their deep impact on me I wanted something more solid and memorable. I would’t trade that experience in Michigan for the world, but I wanted to actually see and experience STS9 as they should be seen – in a memorable state.
Fast forward even further to the night of September 8th, 2017 at Red Rocks. This was it. Their 20 Year Anniversary run at Red Rocks, literally THE best outdoor venue in the world, was something I couldn’t pass up nor forget. After a long day’s work as a teacher I wanted nothing more than to have a few drinks and to listen to (and see) one of the greatest electronic bands in the world.
After years of patiently waiting I was not disappointed in the least. I chose Friday out of the other three at Red Rocks for a very particular reason; they were playing their Artifact album in its entirety; the same album I fell in love with almost ten years ago and the album that brought me into the beautiful EDM scene. Like a child finally tall enough to ride the big ride, standing near the top of Red Rocks (that’s how packed it was) I was finally going to see one of my long time favorite artists.
Song after song I got goosebumps when I had the ‘aha!” moment recognizing the name of the track, and all night long I was in a euphoric trance. I had finally ridden the big ride. Their light show was just as amazing as their music; one I would compare to (and love to see them play together) SAVOY, as the laser display and light show was honestly breathtaking.
What made the night even more magical was the company I was with, a great and best friend who equally loves STS9 for his own reasons, and enjoying the show with a best friend on the same planet as you is truly a fun and memorable experience. One I would think the members of STS9 would absolutely want and be proud of.
The EDM scene is constantly coming and going with so many DJ names it is hard to keep up with, but knowing after so many years STS9 is still in it and still winning warms my heart. And waiting almost ten years to actually see them live was well worth the wait; something I can only say the same about for Blink-182, whom I had the pleasure of seeing before Tom left the band.
Artifact is one of those rare albums where every song is killer, and seeing it performed nearly twelve years after its release during their twenty year anniversary show was something absolutely special and spectacular. It took three nights to play their most amazing sets, and I chose and was part of their Artifact set; absolutely phenomenal. I look forward to seeing what they have in store for us within the next five to ten years, and knowing their track record I can safely say it will be even grander.
STS9, thank you for your performance, love of music, and passion for your fans. You have won me over many times. Prost!