Sound Tribe Sector 9 to play free show at Copper |

Sound Tribe Sector 9 to play free show at Copper

Caitlin Row
Vail CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily/C. Taylor Crothers

COPPER MOUNTAIN, Colorado ” Sound Tribe Sector 9, known for its sweet and heavy instrumental sound, is doing a stripped-down, electronic set at Copper Mountain, which is about a half hours’ drive east of Vail.

The show, which will involve laptops and musical instruments, is part of the Sunsation party at the ski resort.

“We’re doing an electronic set, instead of doing a predominantly live instrument set,” said keyboardist David Phipps. “It’s a pared-down version of what you’d see at Red Rocks or a larger venue.”

With over a decade of performances under their belts, STS9 musicians are celebrated for their fluffy, ethereal melodies that suddenly snap into heavy, thumping beats.

Phipps compares STS9 to a lion.

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“It can be cute and cuddly or sleeping, and then it wakes up and roars, then bites your head off,” he said.

Bassist David Murphy, guitarist Hunter Brown, percussionist Jeffree Lerner, Phipps and Zach Velmer on drums make up STS9’s lineup.

“There’s this huge power when the five of us get together,” Phipps said. “I think that’s where the roar comes from. We found that place.”

STS9 formed in Atlanta, Ga., 11 years ago as a conglomeration of childhood friends and new musical relationships. They’re currently based out of Santa Cruz, Calif.

Over the years, they’ve played as many as a couple hundred shows yearly or as few as 80 ” band members lessen their loads as families and children spring up. But, they have no plans to stop.

“I love it, bring it on,” Phipps said. “Book more shows. It’s what we do.”

STS9 wants to use its popularity to benefit others for the greater good. Through benefit concerts, per-ticket charity fees and other special events, STS9 has donated to over a dozen organizations, including Rock Against Cancer, the Yellow Ribbon Fund, Global Education Fund and the Make It Right Foundation in New Orleans. Band members also supported such independent media sources as Democracy Now! and the Haiti Information Project.

“We take $1 a ticket from any ticket we sell, and donate it to a charity,” Phipps said. “This year we’re trying to pool all charity money to build a house in New Orleans in the 9th ward.”

The band will release a re-mix CD in the next few months, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Making It Right Foundation.

Caitlin Row can be reached at 970-668-4633 or at

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