With the release of their debut album “Transmissions” in 2014, Starset hit the American rock scene with an almost supernatural force and is one of the most unique bands out there. Led by scientist and frontman Dustin Bates, Starset is a complex blend of rock music infused with electronic elements and symphonic strings. Their live show is a true audio-visual experience and combines an extraterrestrial theme set to their music. This past Sunday Starset kicked off their “Immersion:Part 1” tour in the Queen City with a “demonstration” at The Underground.

While a lot of bands have put out a concept album, Starset is more of a concept band as their albums play out the back story of The Starset Society whose mission is to bring the “message” from a mysterious outer space signal to mankind. Coming out first was drummer Adam Gilbert in his spacesuit and helmet to take his place behind the kit which was enclosed behind a large plexiglass enclosure. Bassist Ron DeChant and guitarist Brock Richards also donned spacesuits while lead vocalist Bates came out in a NASA type jacket. Their touring violinist and cellist took their spots at the rear of the stage donning partial plastic light up face shields while the band kicked things off with “Satellite.” The setlist played heavily from their latest release “Vessels” interspersed with a few songs from their “Transmissions” debut. The band sounded tight in the small room as the crowd went crazy for “Carnivore,” one of their radio hits. On each side of the drum kit were large LED screens which had images projected onto them throughout the set and large plumes of smoke sent off at the appropriate times. Violinist Siobhan Cronin and cellist Jonathan Kampfe came to the front of the stage to join Bates for the acoustic numbers “Telepathic” and “Starlight” which provided a poignant moment before the band came back with a fury for the first single off the “Vessels” album, “Monster,” which has been getting a ton of radio airplay. I wondered if the spacesuits would prove to be a hindrance as the show went on and their masks fogged up from sweat but DeChant and Richards were in absolute beast mode showing no ill effects from their elaborate outfits. Bates has a powerful voice that carried well and was fairly quiet in between songs joking to the crowd saying “I don’t talk much, I hope that’s ok.” The crowd didn’t seem to mind and was appreciative allowing the music to take over and ignite the raw emotions lingering within. Closing out the set was the song everyone was waiting for, “My Demons.”

This was not my first time seeing Starset live but was the first time I’ve seen them in an indoor setting which definitely added to the visual aspect of their show. This is a band that definitely stands out among their peers both musically and visually providing the ultimate entertainment. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next. Don’t miss your chance to see one of their demonstrations when they hit a venue near you.


Set List:



Gravity of You

Last To Fall

Die For You

Point of No Return


It Has Begun







Down with the Fallen

Bringing It Down

My Demons

Photo Gallery


We would like to thank Kerri Brusca from Shore Fire Media for the credentials to review the show.

About The Author Kris Engelhart

I am a small business owner, freelance writer, and part-time piano instructor in Charlotte, NC. My musical career started at the age of five when I was forced into taking piano lessons. I played flute in the school band and added the guitar as a young teen. There is nothing I would rather do than be at a live show. My first concert was Shaun Cassidy at the Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo in 1978. My top five live shows ever are: 1. Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street Band – Memorial Auditorium, Buffalo, NY 1984- They played for 3 ½ hours and it was awesome. 2. Carolina Rebellion- Metrolina Expo Grounds, Charlotte, NC, May, 2011 – The first ever Carolina Rebellion featured over 15 bands with Avenged Sevenfold headlining. Non-stop music for over 12 hours. 3. Chevelle- Food Lion Speed Street, Charlotte, NC, May, 2008 - The first time I ever saw Chevelle live and I was hooked! 4. Skillet with Red- Bojangle’s Coliseum, Charlotte, NC, April, 2010 – Skillet is one of my favorite bands and they totally kick it live. 5. 106.5 The End’s Weenie Roast #9- Verizon Wireless Amiptheater, Charlotte, NC , October, 2003- Featured Staind, Shinedown, Three Days Grace.