Detroit,Michigan(December 18,2021)- Since Starset infiltrated the musical airwaves in 2014 with their debut album Transmissions, they have grown in popularity, drawing new fans of all ages and cultures. Playing “Demonstrations” at massive festivals world wide, sold out headlining shows along with truly unique one-off performances, they continue to enhance their assault on the visceral senses with each tour. Psuedo classified as cinematic rock by vocalist Dustin Bates its still hard to categorize Starsets sound to a specific genre. Some parts heavy, some parts melodic, but in every way spectacularly appealing. Bates explained the evolution of their unique sound by unequivocally stating , “Our earlier work was centered in the hard rock lane , now it goes more metal at times.The guitar work borrows from djent stylings and it gets more ambient at times using electronics at a more deeply integrated level.” With a newly released LP aptly titled Horizons that expounds on Bates musical aspirations, Starset finally launched on an aggressive 32 date tour much to the delight of their evergrowing fan base.
On Friday night, The Majestic Theater in Detroit, Michigan, was the charted landing spot for a Starset scheduled Demonstration in the Motorcity. As mentioned prior, Starset’s live stage performances are referred to as Demonstrations which serves as a fitting description for a show that is so fully immersive to all of the senses. Lead singer and electrical engineer, Dustin Bates, has created a fictional backstory for the group that has been charted throughout the course of each of their four albums and depicted during their live stage shows. The preconceived conceptual story lines begin to come to life once the venues lights dim. A massive curtain cloaks the band from the audience and set up for a pre-set video that portrays the building of a sci-fi society as the band opens the 17-song set with “The Breach,” off the new album Horizons. When the curtain fell it revealed a futuristic desert scene with all seven band members wearing their appropriate dystopian stage outfits. Seven band members? Keyboardist Cory Juba has been added to bring a consistent accoutrement to the elaborate show. The addition also allows Bates to interact with the fans instead of being tasked with the intricate key work. Jubas addition also bodes well for violinist Siobhán Cronin and cellist Zuzana Engererovas who both are now able to expound on the now consistent melodic depth that beautifully backs the contrasting electronic side of Starset’s music.
Starset historically has split their shows into two very distinctive halves and tonight was no different. The first segment featured some of the bands bigger hits such as “Carnivore,” “Trials,” “Echo” and the mega-hit “Monster,” all which were anchored by the work of guitarist Brock Richard and bassist Ron DeChant, who both rocked the stage in their theme matching outfits and goggles. Drummer Adam Gibert, all the while mysteriously shrouded in a cloud of fog to facilitate the intense light display, thundered through the dark with powerful rhythm lines, keeping the band in sync.
Mid-set the band took a short intermission to change outfits into their classic, yet very familiar spacesuits. Bates also took the opportunity to talk about the Starset Society, their role as both musicians and nerds, and the higher level thinking and science that is part of the base of Starset’s demonstrations and one of the fascinating but unique facets of this band’s presence. So, in essence,you are not just getting music with Starset, you’re getting an expanding creative universe.
Despite the fact that Starset just released Horizons, the band focused on mainly older material and played four songs from the recently released LP strategically mixed throughout the set. Fans were also happy to hear several deeper cuts from Transmissions, including “Let it Die” and “Point of No Return” (which Dustin said they have not played in about six years). The notion that Bates loaded the first half of the show with some of the bands biggest hits and left nothing for the end could not have been further from reality. There was a plethora of momentum building cuts left for the run towards the end that featured the hits “It Has Begun,” “Ricochet” and the multilayered fan favorite “Satellite,” which showcased the musicianship of each member of the band. Starset closed the night with an invigorating rendition of their most widely recognized hit, “My Demons,” ending a spectacular night of visual and sonic entertainment.
It has been incredible journey to see Starset grow from the first album onwards. Their conceptual shows are nothing short of arena worthy and are a cinematic audio and visual experience that’s rivaled by few and admired by many. The concepts, visuals, theatrics and the storyline provides an unending source of material for Starsets launch into the upper echelon of the rock stratosphere. Make sure you catch the band live on one of their tours now, before you can only see them play in the arenas in the near future!
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1. The Breach
2. Where The Skies End
5. Let It Die
10. Point of No Return
11. It Has Begun
16.Die For You