‘Out-of-the-box’ rock band Starset plays Fiske Planetarium

Starset, a cinematic rock group from Ohio, is performing two nights at Fiske Planetarium on the University of Colorado campus. (Jonathan Weiner / Courtesy photo)

Starset, a cinematic rock group from Ohio, is performing two nights at Fiske Planetarium on the University of Colorado campus. (Jonathan Weiner / Courtesy photo)

By Sonia Amodeo

Ever experienced cinematic rock music?

What about cinematic rock under a 180-degree dome with immersive and stimulating imagery and lights?

It’s time to hop aboard Starset’s explosive journey.

The Columbus, Ohio, band, which infuses science fiction and mind-blowing visuals into an explosive show, will perform tonight at the Fiske Planetarium on the University of Colorado campus. They also played Fisked on Thursday night.

Vocalist Dustin Bates said the band is taking a short break from a national tour in support of Pennsylvania rockers Breaking Benjamin just to fly out to Boulder.

It’s safe to say this show is one not to miss.

The music experience will be fully immersive under the planetarium’s fulldome. This means the visual projection and light show envelops the audience as it is projected throughout Fiske’s skyward dome in a state-of-the-art theater. Attendees can expect an interstellar collision of the mind and senses.

Bates, who is also a vocalist for Ohio rock group Downplay, founded Starset in 2013. His interest in space and science reaches back to his doctoral studies in electrical engineering at Ohio State, his research work with the U.S. Air Force and teaching experience at the International Space University, according to his “Ask Me Anything” on Reddit.

Last summer, Starset released its debut album, Transmissions, to positive acclaim, and in December, Bates said, the band will release an accompanying graphic novel, “The Prox Transmission.”

Starset infuses science fiction and mind-blowing visuals into an explosive show. (Jonathan Weiner / Courtesy photo)

Starset infuses science fiction and mind-blowing visuals into an explosive show. (Jonathan Weiner / Courtesy photo)

During his interview with us, Bates talked about his excitement about performing at Fiske:

What are you excited for about this upcoming Fiske show?

“We’ve done a planetarium show once at Fiske (in February), and it was amazing. The resolution of the projector there was mind-blowing. We had a blast, and now we get to do it two days in a row, so we’re hoping to re-create that experience again.”

What makes your live shows special for you and fans? Do you expect the upcoming Fiske show to be different from your other live shows?

“We try to make our shows immersive as a rock band; we want to bring people out of their lives and into our world wherever we play. We do that with the use of our stage. We have a touch screen that’s transparent that we use — that sort of looks like “Minority Report” — which we use to decay the electronics. And we have a light show.

“Planetarium shows are special because that immersive approach is fully realized as everybody is under this dome with us. It’s impossible not to be immersed within our content. It’s just an awesome experience.”

Is there a special energy or culture that draws you to Colorado?

Everywhere you go there’s a different vibe, and Colorado is one of my favorite places in the country. In fact, we had six months off starting at the beginning of the year, and I spent that time in Denver. I love it so much there. The people there are smarter than average, more open-minded than average, and generally happier than average; and all of those things play into a more susceptive crowd for a band like us that is out-of-the-box. It makes for a really good crowd.”

Talk about the integration of music with visuals, science fiction and other inspirations. What does this do for your music?

“Everything about Starset is based upon our message, which is a narrative that we are promoting. At its heart, we are looking at the near future, and how things may likely change due to technologies that are growing at an exponential rate and how they may change society, economics, philosophies and politics. There’s going to be a novel that comes out in December that explains that.”

What else has Starset been up to this summer?

“We’re currently on a Breaking Benjamin tour, and we are breaking the tour to fly to Colorado to play the shows, then flying right back to continue our tour. That’s how excited we are to play the planetarium.”

If you go

What: Starset

When: 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27, and Friday, Aug. 28

Where: Fiske Planetarium, 2414 Regent Drive, University of Colorado campus, Boulder

Tickets: $25

Info: fiske.colorado.edu

 
 

Your host

Your host Quentin Young, reporter at the Times-Call (Longmont), and Daily Camera (Boulder) respectively.

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