Starset brought their live Demonstration to the House of Blues in San Diego, California on October 7, 2019. The futuristic artists elevated a rock show into an interactive multimedia sci-fi experience. Starset Messengers were greeted as the entered the venue by a virtual host on a video screen, welcoming them to the event and instructing them to pick up their transparent fact sheet and prototype stickers for the Brain Machine Interface (BMI), which promises to transmit and receive experiences directly between the brain and the ARCHITECTURE. Additionally, the STARSET phone app can interact with posters throughout the venue, unlocking messages and video transmissions.
After an introduction video based on their new album “Divisions” was played on a large white screen in front of the stage, the band emerged wearing their new dystopian stage outfits. They played in front of a giant video wall that alternated between distorted live images, stunning visuals and messages from Starset Society representatives regarding the BMI, the ARCHITECTURE and warnings of threats from hackers. The 6 band members moved around the stage, using several platforms, surrounded by smoke bursts, lasers and swirling lights. Lead vocalist Dustin Bates has created an artistic blend of metal, electronica and prog, and he shifts his vocals along with the current musical mood. Drummer Adam Gilbert explodes with power when called for, and drops into the background as needed. Lead guitarist Brock Richards sits in the pocket beautifully, kicking into high gear at all the best moments. Bassist Ron DeChant is the primary backup vocalist, and also plays keyboards at times, all the while bounding around and engaging the crowd.
Many bands in this genre play backing tracks to supply the keyboards and orchestration. Starset takes a much more interesting and appealing approach to filling out their live sound. Mariko Muranaka Friend plays cello and violin throughout the show. Siobhán Cronin plays the violin and keyboards. Both women look stunning on stage, but more importantly they add drama and gravitas to the proceedings. Cronin led the band through an instrumental version of “Thunderstruck” by AC-DC, playing the vocal parts on violin. The whole band delivered a powerful take on Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir”, which Bates identified as a driving inspiration for the band’s sound.
This tour has so many visual elements complementing the music that there is never a dull moment in the 90 minute set. At one point, a representative appeared on screen announcing that the system had been hacked by someone from the past, and initiated a reboot of the Demonstration. When the show resumed, the band appeared in their classic spacesuits and scientist outfits, playing songs from their first 2 albums.
A Starset concert delivers more than most shows do, drawing fans into their mythology, immersing them in sound, light and science fiction concepts. The merchandise includes stage props, graphic novels and apparel that continue the story line. Bates ended the show by joining the crowd during the encore, thrilling them with his presence and passion. The Divisions U.S. Demonstrations 2019 tour is their most ambitious yet, and it delivers on every level. Support was provided by Palisades, Hyde and A Brilliant Lie.
Starset Blows Minds with Live Demonstration in San Diego first appeared on Game On Media.