Starset at The Fleece, March 25

Andrew Johnson reviewed Starset's show at The Fleece.

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The night of Sunday, March 25 saw American rock group Starset come to Bristol to finish off their rare UK headline tour. The Fleece was chosen as the last venue on their tour, and the venue was packed.

We joined the queue for entry as the sun set on a relatively unimpressive day. Having heard of Starset’s innovative and experimental ‘Demonstrations’, we went into one of Bristol’s most historic and lively venue’s unsure what to expect. We were not disappointed.

After a significant and obligatory spend at the merch shop, UK based DJ group Diskord started things off. It’s easy to see why the duo are up and coming on the EDM scene with their fun sound and features on some of the albums of industry leaders, such as Krewella (Beggars).

After the crowd was sufficiently warmed up, the ‘Demonstration’ began. The Ohio-based band, who perform entirely in character, took to the stage in spacesuits and neon light gear that would make any sci-fi fan proud. Lead singer Dustin Bates prefers to be placed squarely in the genre of ‘cinematic rock’ and I’d be inclined to agree with him based on that night’s performance. The coordination and choreography of their every move on stage matched to the music and impressive custom set lighting behind them made the entire experience even more memorable.

Their extravagant set design and range of band members and instruments made for a weird environment. The stage was busy enough to fill a 20,000-capacity arena, as was their music and the noise from the fans, however Starset were playing to a small venue in Bristol.

As for the music, when you go to see a band whose sound has been compared to some of the most important bands in recent rock history – namely Breaking Benjamin and Linkin Park – you generally know what you’re getting yourself in to. From pieces with raw unplugged vocal emotion and melancholic violin solos to songs lead wholly by DeChant and Richards, every song was unforgettable, though I will admit ‘My Demons’ and ‘Ricochet’ were definitely crowd favourites.

With the music, set, and venue all coming together to make the perfect setting, it’s no surprise we had a great time and we recommend you head down to a Starset demonstration when you next can!

by Andrew Johnson