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Starset // Live @ The NorVa // 6.24.22

Article and photos by: Wendy Podmenik Woodell

NORFOLK, VA– This evening featured a conceptual band that pushes the envelope in defining what is “rock” music- Starset stretches the boundaries and folds in string instruments, metal elements, electronic, and some pop undertones into their unique sound.

A relatively new band, Starset got its’ start in 2013. Vocalist Dustin Bates is a man who wears many hats- also being the songwriter and keyboardist. Drawing from his professional background as an electrical engineer, researcher and as an astronomy enthusiast, he created Starset around a concept that the band is delivering a mysterious message from space as a part of a “Starset Society”. Fully embracing the techno image, the stage set used lasers and fog to create a dreamy futuristic scene. The band was costumed in “Mad Max” styled apparel. Starset also utilizes other forms of media outside of a concert stage to create a complete experience for their fans. Video, graphic novel, and Augmented Reality to enhance the “Message”. With nearly a million subscribers on Youtube alone, the mission has had ongoing success.

Having released four studio albums in the past few years, Starset’s last two albums (2019 Divisions and 2021 Horizons) were not fully supported by tours, as the Covid shutdown of 2020/2021 stalled or halted touring entirely. Even vocalist Bates made a remark from the stage that this particular tour felt as though it were supporting two albums.

Video for recent single “Infected” is a great example of Starset’s Message and sound- it is up to fans and followers to decide how deep to dive into this journey, how to interpret the meaning behind Starset’s communications, whether by lyrics, graphics, video or music.

We do it one by one
Put your hands up and run
We’re addicted to the panic
And we hate the way
This world has become
But there ain’t no cure for it
We’ve been infected, infected”

Wendy Podmenik Woodell
Since entering the world of photography in 2013, WENDY PODMENIK has focused her interest on live music. Her ultimate goal is to successfully present the live music genre as an art form which preserves the expression, emotion, and energy of specific moments in time. ////// GLENN WOODELL spends his musical time working both on and around the stage. He's spent decades behind the lens as a visual artist, and for his career, studied human vision as a scientific researcher. His time on the stage these days is either spent holding on to a bass guitar or a camera.