Orlando, FL (6/19/22)
Since their formation by singer Dustin Bates back in 2013, Starset has continued to grow and refine not only their sound but the band as well. Along with that growth has come a rise in their popularity with every album that they have released so far. From their first album Transmissions released back in 2013 to their latest effort Horizons they continue to carve out a very unique niche for themselves. They have created completely unique style and sound that Bates has informally dubbed cinematic rock, which references their integration of sounds such as symphonic, electronic, and riff driven rock. As is their sound is unique, so are their shows, which the band refers to as demonstrations.
While there may have been a certain stadium tour happening in Orlando, you wouldn’t have know it as the House Of Blues was packed for Starset’s latest demonstration. Then again, as the band hasn’t toured since 2019, except for a couple festival appearances and an ultra-exclusive acoustic tour, this would be the first time in a while that their fans would get a chance to see them in full effect.
With a white curtain covering the stage, lights started flashing on it as well as the bands stylized star symbol. Suddenly, everything went dark then cellist Zuzana Engererova and violinist Siobhan Richards started playing the intro to “Carnivore” as the curtain dropped. With the stage lit a deep blue against a backdrop of video screens playing futuristic imagery along with the lyrics to the song, It created a very striking effect. To add to the performance the band was also dressed in their latest post-apocalyptic outfits. Indeed the imagery was incredible and make no mistake though the music was easily on par.
While Starset released Divisions back in 2019 and they currently have their latest release Horizons out, the band opted not to make a setlist heavy on either album. Instead, they decided to treat the fans in attendance to a show featuring some of their biggest hits and pulled an equal number of songs from all of their albums. The first half of the demonstration, yes the show was divided into two distinct halves which is normal for their concerts, They loaded it up with some of their most popular songs such as “Echo”, “Trials”, “Manifest” and “Monster”. Throughout all the songs every member played their part perfectly. Guitarist Brock Richard provided the right amount of muscle, while bassist Ron DeChant and drummer Adam Gilbert anchored things solidly. Of course the intense light show and smoke was synchronized to all this perfectly.
The first half closed out with “It Has Begun”, then the band left the stage and a clock counting down was displayed. As the clock wound down to the last seconds the audience counted down with it. As it hit zero the lights went dim and Engererova and Siobhan Richards appeared on platforms on opposite sides of the stage. Bathed under blue spotlights they started things off together then Richards played a beautiful violin solo. Afterwards the rest of band reappeared and a cheer erupted. During the break, the band changed outfits. DeChant and Brock Richards were wearing the all too familiar ‘astronaut’ outfits, while Bates had changed to a black outfit as did Engererova and Siobhan Richards. They kicked things off with “Satellite” one of the singles off of Vessels.
During this part of the show Dustin Bates thanked everyone for showing up and told everyone that he had been waiting a long time to tell everyone that their fans were the best in rockdom. He went on to say that these demonstrations are an eclectic event. Then he asked the audience how many metal heads he are here, of course Bates was greeted by a loud cheer. He then asked how many of you are nerds and dorks, once again another loud cheer erupted. Bates then said how many events can you be at where so many people self-ascribe to being dorks which generated a hearty laugh. He then let everyone know that the next song would be the live debut, they quickly launched into “Icarus”. They closed out the night with an incredible performance of “My Demons” replete with an incredible light show and smoke canons.
With the release of each album, Starset has grown in stature. The vision that Dustin Bates has had for the band has become more fleshed out. With each successive tour they have added more to their shows whether it be lighting, orchestral music, or visuals to help bring their concepts and storyline to life. Tonight’s show was no exception and on this tour they are clearly at their best. Soon enough they will be able to take things to the arena level, so catch them now while their shows are more intimate.
House Of Blues Orlando: