Concerts Under the Stars comes to Grand Rapids Public Museum in January

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Sean Cauvet, News Editor

On Jan. 16, the Grand Rapids Public Museum is kicking off their Concert Under the Stars Series, which consists of four shows.

“We’re thrilled to kick off the Concerts Under the Stars series with ‘How to Live Together,’” said Kate Kocienski, Vice President of Marketing & Public Relations for the Grand Rapids Public Museum. “Each concert, held in our Chaffee Planetarium, will generate a highly immersive experience for attendees, showcasing an immense amount of diverse musical and visual artistry.”

The Concerts Under the Stars Series is a unique type of show, but not because of its content. The first show is done with only a two-person cast and the show changes each time. Each performance coincides with a live light show on the planetarium dome.

The first installment of the 2020 series of Concerts Under the Stars begins with How to Live Together, featuring the unique sounds of synth-pop in the Museum’s Chaffee Planetarium.

“Grand Rapids residents, Jesse Kaczmarczyk and Steffanie Rosalez, utilize digital and analog synthesis to compose their synth-pop songs,” Kocienski said. “The duo sample lighthearted Nintendo blips while creating dark analog sounds, which became an ongoing parallel for their own relationship and their relationship to the world around them. Using the limitless world of synthesizers, they examine the joy and dysfunction of being an interracial couple in the current cultural landscape of race, politics and social norms.”

The second installment of Concerts Under the Stars takes place on Thursday, Feb. 6 with Coffin Problem.

“Coffin Problem is rock band whose music resembles an abrasive, yet familiar sound to the genre,” Kocienski said. “The group consists of four talented musicians including Sean Stearns, songwriter; Billy Bartholomew, bass guitarist; Trevor Goldner, guitarist and Ben Weissenborn, drummer. The group’s songs intrigue audiences with a sound that is bruising and bright, yet cavernous and cathartic.”

The third installment of Concerts Under the Stars takes place on Thursday, Feb. 27 with Seth Beck.

“Seth is a singer and songwriter who specializes in Indie rock,” Kocienski said. “He creates music as a means of self-discovery by preserving memory with swaying melodies, while writing plain-stated songs that speak truth to innocent moments and the incense of love rooted in body. Seth’s unique twist on the genre transforms the music into scenes of romantic optimism and complication, allowing listeners to become lost in the smooth, melodic sounds.”

The fourth and final show for Concerts Under the Stars is on Thursday, Mar. 19 and features Hollywood Makeout.

“Hollywood Makeout is comprised of a talented trio including lead vocalist and guitarist Erin Lenau, backup vocalist and bass guitarist Cedric Canero and backup vocalist and drummer Tim Broderick,” Kocienski said. “The group’s music embodies the sounds of surf pop-rock in a familiar, yet refreshing manner.”

All shows for the Concerts Under the Stars Series take place in the Museum’s Chaffee Planetarium. The doors open at 6:30 p.m., with each concert beginning at 7:30 p.m. Performers will play two sets, with a short intermission between. Refreshments, beer and other beverages will be available for purchase. Tickets are $12 for GRPM members and $17 for the public. Limited tickets available.