Paradise Fears to perform at GVSU

GVL / Courtesy -  Marcella Migneco;
Paradise Fears

GVL / Courtesy – Marcella Migneco; Paradise Fears

Ashlyn Korienek

The lights dim as the lively cheers of the crowd collide with the staggering sounds of rock music. Students put down their books for the night to enjoy a unique experience. This free Grand Valley State University student event has an added benefit: coffee.

Bringing GVSU a coffeehouse concert experience, Spotlight Productions will feature the band Paradise Fears Jan. 23, at 7 p.m. in the Kirkhof Center’s Grand River Room.

Paradise Fears is a alternative rock band from Vermillion, South Dakota. The performance will feature their most recent album, called “Life in Real Time,” which was released in 2015. The band has toured with some well-known artists like All Time Low and Andy Grammer.

Janelle Shankin, music chair for Spotlight Productions, said the concert is expected to have about 150 to 300 people in attendance, as the concert is free to students with an ID and $5 for the public. Those who attend will be offered free coffee and treats, to create a warm coffee shop atmosphere.

“Paradise Fears is a smaller band who have toured with (bigger) acts, so they have been able to build up a good fan base,” Shankin said. “We haven’t brought an alternative rock band to campus in a couple years. This band checked off everything we were looking for to book a smaller concert.”

Brandi Barno, the executive vice president of Spotlight Productions, said during the winter of 2014, Spotlight Productions scheduled a similar coffeehouse style concert during a winter storm, but the concert was a success despite the snow day blunder.

“We did a coffeehouse type of event last year where Howie Day came to Grand Valley during a snow day,” Barno said. “We thought no one was going to show up, and it was way too late to cancel the show, but we ended up with more people than we expected. Everything went really well.”

Most of the events brought to campus by Spotlight Productions are Laker Traditions, Shankin said the larger events this year include: LaughFest, the Last Laker Standing, the Upright Citizens Brigade improv show, the monthly Saturday Night Dives and open mic nights.

“Spotlight works really hard to bring a variety of entertainment and educational acts to GVSU,” Shankin said. “We have everything from musicians and comedians to spoken word artists, or motivational speakers and Tom Deluca, who is our annual hypnotist.”

Every year, Spotlight Productions features a spring concert for students to attend. The featured artist for this year are yet to be announced. In 2015, the headline was Hoodie Allen, along with Lion Babe.

Shankin said the spring concert and LakerFest will wrap-up a semester filled with plenty of entertainment. LakerFest is a celebration of the last day of classes before finals week, which provides students with free food and fun activities.

“Most of the music events that we put on are the open mic nights and the big concerts,” she said. “With Paradise Fears, we wanted to bring a band that had the versatility to be able to put on a stripped down acoustic performance so the audience could feel closer to the act.”

Spotlight Productions values offering a variety of musical events to the GVSU community. Shankin said producing smaller shows allows them to schedule more outside acts other than the traditional annual events.

To follow Spotlight Productions on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, search the tag @spotlightgv. Students can ask questions through all accounts, and expect big event announcements throughout the rest of the semester.