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Sonic Boom 2017

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Starset vocalist Dustin Bates, October 1 2017.

Starset vocalist Dustin Bates, October 1 2017.

photo by Liz Napier

photo by Liz Napier

Starset vocalist Dustin Bates, October 1 2017.

Liz Napier, Digital Co-Editor, Managing Co-Editor

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I hear it calling me / You can come alive here / I hear it beckoning / Until I am inside….

Gravity of You, Starset

Music unites us, no matter your creed, race, gender, or sexual identity. I’ve seen this demonstrated at concert after concert, without fail. Time and time again, I find myself at Sonic Boom, talking to artists of both the tattoo and musical type, enjoying the live music and losing myself in the crowd. I had such an experience that it only seemed natural I share it with all of you.

Sonic Boom is an annual concert event in Janesville, Wisconsin, held each year at the end of September or first weekend of October. This year’s lineup included big-name bands in the rock world like Steel Panther, Five Finger Death Punch, Halestorm, Rise Against, and Mastodon, while supporting small and local bands like Breech, Torn Between (from Janesville, WI) and Through Fire. Last year, I learned to look forward to the words Sonic Boom every year. This year, they earned a yearly goer.

While every band deserves recognition for their performances, which left ears ringing, throats raw and bodies sore, I’ll be focusing on my favorite acts of the weekend, Nothing More and Starset.

Nothing More was founded in 2003 in San Antonio, Texas, and while I’ve been a fan of their music since The Few Not Fleeting (2009) and their self-titled ‘freshman’ album Nothing More (2014), the opportunity never presented itself to see them live. I’d heard stories from those who had, and all of them are what I’m about to tell you: go see them. Nothing can compare to the show they put on, the detail that went into each and every second of that performance. I’ve seen a lot of bands live, and not many can stack up to Nothing More.

Starset is a cinematic rock band from Columbus, Ohio, established in 2013 by singer Dustin Bates and the Starset Society. This was the third show I’ve been to for them (or a ‘demonstration’, as they call it), and for the third time, I loved it. Starset is a treat for anyone who desires a higher purpose to their music — and Starset represents an entire secret society of scientists who believe the government is withholding scientific discoveries from the public. (If you’re into government conspiracies, this is something you should definitely check out.)

However you like your music, whatever music you like, it unites us. You experience what I consider true freedom when you step in that crowd, in that pit, and become one with the music. You’ll make friends you’ll never learn the names of nor will you see them again, and you’ll crave the feeling of letting go you experienced. And that’s why I go back — good music, good people and at festivals, good (but overpriced) food.

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Sonic Boom 2017