Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9) offered a unique opportunity to their fans during their 2023 tour: a chance to choose the entire setlist for their show.
In a month-long tournament earlier this summer, so-called “setlist specialists” battled it out for votes in the STS9 community. This competition led up to the band’s sold-out performance at Paramount Theatre on July 20th.
In the high heat of the packed theater, fans finally heard the first-ever Selector 9 show — and it did not disappoint.
A Brand-New Show Concept: Selector 9
Selector 9 is a new concept by STS9 that turns the fans into the track selectors for a show. This Paramount Theatre concert was the first time STS9 attempted an experiment of this magnitude. They began the process with an announcement over two months ago.
To start, fans submitted their favorite STS9 songs until they built a library of 240 tracks to choose from. In the next phase, the fans crafted ideal setlists, all using the formula of seven songs in set one, seven songs in set two, and a one-song encore. From these setlists, the top eight (decided by the band) went into a bracket-style tournament. Finally, it was time for fans to vote on which setlist they wanted to hear!
The Winning Setlist
On the night of the Selector 9 performance, the winning setlist had still not been revealed — which brought the audience’s anticipation to a fever pitch. The final battle came down to two fans: Chuck Shannon and Mitchell Miller.
With the very first song, the whole audience knew which set won. Selection #5 by Mitchell Miller, featuring “Quests” as the opener. In true STS9 fashion, the music was perfectly timed with the lighting. As STS9 honored their fans with this special setlist, they played under a wash of purples, blues, and pinks.
A special moment in set one was “Bosso Profundo” (specifically, the live version from Boulder in 2000). This song featured stellar percussion performances from Zach Velmer on drum kit and Jeffree Lerner on bongos. Later in the evening, set two started with “Doom Doom (Watch Out for that Bus),” which shows off extremely funky bass lines from Alana Rocklin.
While fans were allowed to pick the encore, Mitchell Miller instead opted for “Surprise (The band gets to choose the encore…)”. To the audience’s delight, STS9 selected “Grow” and smoothly ended the night with the song’s laid-back jams.
Love for the Sound Tribe Community
Overall, the biggest feat of the first Selector 9 show was that it inspired incredible community involvement. Few bands hand this much power over to their audience. Thankfully, the risk paid off by allowing longtime fans to use their vote to hear songs they had been chasing for years.
After the show, STS9 honored the evening through a post on Instagram: “The first ever fan-curated STS9 show is one we will never forget. It takes a village… and last night showed what’s possible when a community comes together to build together.”
STS9’s Three-Night Colorado Run
STS9 called this special event a “warmup night” in anticipation of their two back-to-back shows at Red Rocks Amphitheatre. While STS9 treated the track-chasing fans at Paramount Theatre, they also prepared to offer something special for those who love the legendary STS9 production.
The Red Rocks performance presented another unique angle with “Sound of the Light.” In this show, the music interacts with perfectly programmed lights and colors.
After over 25 years as a band, STS9 continues to show that they will go to any lengths to provide new experiences for their loyal fans. Selector 9 and Sound of the Light are two perfect examples of their incredible efforts!
Photos by Aeron Reinhardt
Find STS9 On: