STS9 at North Coast Music Festival | Photos
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.