April 25 brought sounds of the band Stars Go Dim to the Fort Hays State University Campus. Presented in the quad, the concert started at 7:30 p.m. Songwriter Joey Avalos, bassist Michael Wittig and vocalist Chris Cleveland came together in 2007 to create their band that had a pop and R&B sound to it.
Stars Go Dim started with some great sounds. The piano with the drums made for a solid tune that got everyone’s feet tapping. When the lead singer began, though, it was disappointing. It seemed to me the climax had just fallen, and the sound was more uplifting than the voice. Fortunately, as he got to singing more, it was better because it related to the sound of the music.
The first song was one of love. This turned out to be a recurring theme, which should have been apparent when we were told at the start we should be ready to start believing in love. As the first song came to a close, the sound just dropped off, and they started talking. It was as if the song did not have an end, and this sent out a weird vibe.
Next, we learned the band was from Tulsa, Okla. As soon as the main singer told us this, though, he proceeded to choke on a cottonseed. We had to stop and wait for a few seconds until he could cough it up. This made for an entertaining moment, and he played it off well. The second song began, and it was about a woman. Vocals in this song were very smooth, with all the band members matched in pitch. Giving a feeling of heartbreak, the song brought emotions out in all the members except the bassist.
Wittig continued to stand in one position for most of the show. Another bother that came up was the sound’s having to be adjusted during the show. The main vocalist’s mother-in-law went to school here, and he tried asking us if we knew any of the things she’d done. It was funny how we had no clue what he was talking about.
The third song was about love again, and by then, the general sound and theme had picked up. If you were to tune out the songs, they sounded similar. By the fourth song, the show picked up. Finally, we were introduced to a new sound from the group. This song was dedicated to Haiti for hope. The band had visited Haiti, and it really touched their hearts, so they wrote a song that was brighter with a positive feeling.
A problem, though, was the words got lost in the sound. We had to strain our ears to hear exactly what they were saying, but for the most part it was understandable. On the fifth song, about loving like you mean it, the crowd was taught a part to sing along with. The vocals of the song were powerful, showing more of the passion of the band. My personal favorite was the sixth song, which had a jazzy feel to it.
A much-needed relief from their general sound, it
had a catchy beat and sounded like something that would be a hit on the radio. Feeling joyful inside a piano run added to the sound and made my heart melt. Every song ended abruptly. In the next few songs, the lead vocalist showed his skills, moving up and down the scale very quickly. He had that stretching tenor voice that is heard more often in today’s music.
At the eighth song, it really slowed down. The somber sound really got me when the lead guitarist looked as if he wanted to cry. After the tenth song, the crowd was finally introduced to the band members. It was told that each member had a spirit animal, and then the bassist proceeded to sing a seductive song about the drummer, a.k.a. black panda. The bassist finally showed his passionate side, surprising us with his lovely, smooth-sounding voice. In my opinion, he could have made a great lead singer as well.
The last song played was “Stars Go Down,” an upbeat number that persuaded the crowd to get up in front of the band. Throughout the show, one little girl was dancing around while everyone else was just stationary, so it was a nice change to see people getting active. The piece ended with a crazy guitar and drum solo, leaving the crowd cheering.