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LIVE: STARSET – September 22, 2019

| 1 October 2019 | Reply

Venue: Buckhead Theatre

City: Atlanta, GA

Date: September 22, 2019

Review and Photographs by: Rachel Craig (

Starset is a band constantly upping their visual game, mixing a beautiful, immersive stage presence with an important message about science, technology, and space. This new round of “demonstrations” comes just after the release of Divisions, the band’s latest album that expands upon the themes of mind control, and their live show throws fans into that world for a unique experience that you don’t often get with other bands. The demonstration began with A Brilliant Lie from Orlando, Florida. Their vocalist Tara Lightfoot gave a brilliant performance while the rest of the band was full of energy and jumping around the stage. This was the funny band of the night, as they were cracking jokes and even played a fun cover of “Africa” by Toto. Next was HYDE from Japan, who drew in lots of fans from their home country to Atlanta. Their neon, colorful, graffiti-inspired stage setup was refreshing, along with their electronic masks and industrial outfits. HYDE was one of my personal favorites of the night, playing catchy electronic rock music from their album Anti, including songs like “Who’s Gonna Save Us” and “After Light.” Finally, Palisades wrapped up the opening acts. I’ve had the chance to see Palisades multiple times in the past few years, but this show was much different since vocalist Lou Miceli, Jr. had to skip this tour due to medical reasons. Brandon Elgar set aside playing bass to take over the job, and this was a great choice. He delivered all of Palisades’ recognizable songs in his own way, taking on the role of a frontman with ease. Their setlist included songs like “Letdown,” “Better Chemicals,” and “Erase the Pain.”

Starset’s stage setup has been constantly changing, and this is the most stunning it’s been so far. The band has taken a more minimalistic approach compared to previous demonstrations, opting for a large video board behind the stage and platforms for each band member. Their stage outfits also got an update to match Divisions, turning into something you’d likely see on a desert planet in a Star Wars film. The band played mostly brand new material from Divisions like “MANIFEST,” “ECHO,” and “PERFECT MACHINE,” with interesting visuals displayed on the board to match the songs, like lyrics, symbols, and a video feed from different parts of the stage. This demonstration was fully immersed in the Starset lore, with advertisements for a Brain Machine Interface and glitches during the show that appeared to be someone trying to hack the demonstration – including a 5 minute intermission that explained how the BMI and a server known as “The Architecture” could improve everyone’s lives (this later turned into a warning – urging everyone to destroy the Architect). After this intermission, the band changed into their familiar space suits to play several favorites from Vessels and Transmissions, like “Carnivore,” “Bringing It Down,” and a stripped down version of “Starlight.” The band ended with the band’s most recognizable song “My Demons,” and the demonstration itself concluded with the crowd singing together. Overall, this may be the best demonstration I’ve seen so far. Frontman Dustin Bates has crafted an experience that goes beyond an average rock show, incorporating technology, beautiful music, and an overarching theme that serves as a warning to society. This is also the best I’ve heard Starset. Having a violinist and a cellist on stage really makes their songs sound more ethereal, and Bates’ vocals are the best I’ve heard them yet. I’m curious to see how the demonstrations progress through the next touring cycles, and how the Starset Society will continue spreading their message.

Setlist: A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE FUTURE – MANIFEST – Monster – ECHO – WHERE THE SKIES END – Ricochet – Kashmir – TELEKENETIC – PERFECT MACHINE – TRIALS – Carnivore – Bringing It Down – OTHER WORLDS THAN THESE – Starlight – Unbecoming – My Demons





Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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