Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Dec 22nd 2012 8:02PM by Benjy Eisen
But for one band in particular, Sound Tribe Sector Nine (STS9), playing just five minutes away from the Mayan ruins in Tulum, Mexico, was particularly poignant -- STS9 has long embraced Mayan culture, even basing elements of their tour schedule, routing and stage production on various parts of Mayan lore. It all culminated with a midnight-to-early-morning set on Friday on a stretch of beach nearly within eyesight of the actual Tulum pyramids, at an annual destination festival called Mayan Holidaze.
Every year at Mayan Holidaze, bands directly interact with fans through artist-led excursions, so it seemed only appropriate that STS9 guitarist Hunter Brown would lead four busloads of fans on an outing to the famed Tulum ruins. "The place itself is an observatory," Brown tells Spinner. "So we all got to go and have this elder take us around and teach us what all the buildings were originally built for and explain different aspects of the construction and what it all meant."
Taking a tour of the ruins alongside so many of his fans was a special experience, says Hunter, "because we've all kind of been inspired by this together, for so long."
Hours later STS9 invited a group of Mayan dancers up onstage with them for a song as they ushered in the new era of the Mayan calendar -- the 14th baktun -- on a beach at an all-inclusive resort where fans had been celebrating all week long, at the annual four-day Mayan Holidaze. The event also always features the Disco Biscuits and Umphrey's McGee along with a rotating lineup of other electronic bands and DJs. This year included sets by Brothers Past and Break Science featuring Pretty Lights' drummer Adam Deitch.
"This has always been a dream to be down here at this time, doing this," says Brown. "We've always drawn from some of the stuff that the Mayans were inspired by ... They talk about some incredible stuff, like how the earth travels through this energy radiation wave that comes through our sun that they think might help spur evolution because there's this focused energy on the planet and we come in and out of that. There are big name scientists today who say that, yes, that might be what's going on. That's what we're finding out about our universe and what's happening to our planet, and I think that's just fascinating to no end how these people, with no tools, so long ago, just by looking and being curious and just kind of checking it out, were able to figure out."
And since it wasn't the end of the world after all, STS9 plan to return to Mayan Holidaze next year. Of course, almost everyone in attendance can say the same.