2018 BackStage Pass Concert Series!

Apr 6, 2018

FREE | April 30 - May 4 | 7:00- 9:00pm at WKAR Studios | We're very excited to host nine bands in this year’s 2018 Backstage Pass Concert Series! RESERVE SEATS NOW 

Join us for this FREE CONCERT SERIES recording new television episodes for BackStage Pass, the WKAR original series featuring music made in Michigan and the Great Lakes region.

Seats for all nine concerts in the live studio audience are available NOW!

  • Wednesday, April 18 | Luke Winslow King
  • Thursday, April 19 | Zombie Jesus and the Chocolate Sunshine Band
  • Friday, April 20 | SIAS
  • Thursday, April 26 | The Go Rounds
  • Friday, April 27 | Jack + The Bones
  • Monday, April 30 | Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers
  • Tuesday, May 1 |  The Harmaleighs
  • Wednesday, May 2 | Jesse Ray & The Carolina Catfish
  • Friday, May 4 | Sisters of your Sunshine Vapor 

All reservations are for General Admission seating. Reservations will be released for Standby Audience seating 30 minutes after doors open.

Standby Seating: We want to fill every seat! For every concert or event, there are (almost) always no-shows. Non-ticket holders can check in for Standby at the venue beginning 30 minutes before doors open. Any seats available 30 minutes after doors open will be filled from Standby, first-come first-served.

Parking is free after 6 p.m. in the adjacent Trowbridge Road parking ramp.
Parking address: 1149 Red Cedar Road, East Lansing, MI 48824

BackStage Pass airs this fall on WKAR HD 23.1 and is presented in partnership with MSU Federal Credit Union.


Luke Winslow King
Credit Courtesy: Luke Winslow King

April 18 | Luke Winslow King 
Luke Winslow King was born in Cadillac Michigan into an artist and musical family. Luke plays a mix of country, blues, R&B, rock and folk. At 14, he played in a band called the Luke Winslow-King Blues Band. Luke went to Interlochen Arts Academy to study bebop jazz. He graduated in 2001 with a major in jazz guitar. Luke tried the college life at Western Michigan University, but dropped out after one semester. At 19, Luke went to University of New Orleans for the music theory and composition program and studies classical music. He credits getting robbed in New Orleans for making him fall in love with the city and live there for 15 years.

Zombie Jesus and the The Chocolate Sunshine Band
Credit Courtesy: Zombie Jesus and the The Chocolate Sunshine Band

April 19 | Zombie Jesus and the Chocolate Sunshine Band
Zombie Jesus and the Chocolate Sunshine Band that includes Nick Leu on Drums; Jiminez Donovan –on Bass; Helmut Aretz on Lead Guitar; and Jheremie Jacque on Rhythm Guitar and Vocals. Undoubtedly fate (Craigslist) brought together this unique musical experience formed in May of 2010. Zombie Jesus and the Chocolate Sunshine Band use a simple and fun, yet secret recipe to combine heartfelt pain, happiness and humor with fun rock ‘n’ roll.

Credit Courtesy: SIAS

April 20 | SIAS
SIAS consists of childhood friends Josias Yglesias - singer, songwriter, rhythm guitar player and producer; Haley Grant - keys and producer; Scott Posada - lead guitarist and producer; D Love -electronic kit and percussionist. They are Detroit natives that play acoustic/electronic/R&B. SIAS won the Midwest Video Awards for our video “Stand Tall One Take Sessions” and takes pride that “Everything you hear is played live, no backing tracks.” They are passionate about the revitalization of Detroit and aspire to help the city continue to grow.

The Go Rounds
Credit Courtesy / The Go Rounds

April 26 | The Go Rounds | RESERVE SEATS NOW
The Go Rounds are a Kalamazoo based band that have been making (what they call) sweet psychedelic rock n’ roll confetti pie. The quartet has been a dominant force in the Michigan music world for the past 5 years. In that time, their music has evolved from twangy americana to groovy rock. They’ve played at many Great Lakes music festivals including Wheatland Music Festival, Blissfest, Hoxeyville Music Festival, and many more. The group is known for their live performances, and have the award to back it up by winning,“Most Fun to Watch” 2 years ago WYCE Jammy Awards.

Jack The Bones
Credit Courtesy / Jack + The Bones

April 27 | Jack + The Bones | RESERVE SEATS NOW
Jack + The Bones are a brand new band composed of two well-established solo artists known as Amelia Hammer Harris and Taylor John Williams. Both are no strangers to the world of music shows. Taylor was on NBC’s The Voice in 2014, and Amelia made it to Hollywood on the most recent season of ABC’s American Idol where the auditioned together. The two went into the competition as friends and fellow musicians and left as lovers and bandmates. For Amelia, music is in her blood. Her father was Jack Hammer, a songwriter with credits for the 1957 classic "Great Balls of Fire." Now, she and Taylor are carving their own path in the industry with their debut performance on BackStage Pass.

Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers
Credit Courtesy / Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers

April 30 | Joe Hertler and the Rainbow Seekers | RESERVE SEATS NOW
A Lansing local, lead vocalist Joe Hertler was discovered while playing at The Quilted Attic. Now, the six-piece known as Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers have spread their upbeat, groovy rock all over the nation. From bringing out piñatas, to confetti, to fog, to flowers, to sword battles...literally anything goes when it comes to their live performances. Anything, that is, to ensure their audience leaves in a better mood than they came with. “The live show is the purpose of the band. This is why we make music,” Joe said. “Playing music is a symbiotic process, and without a crowd it is just a bunch of guys jamming.” The band has earned their spot at the 2018 Mo Pop Festival in Detroit alongside Bon Iver, The National, Vince Staples and others.

Credit Courtesy / The Harmaleighs

May 1 | The HarmaleighsRESERVE SEATS NOW 
The Harmaleighs’ sound is a mix of indie, pop, and americana that carries messages about life, love and even the hit Netflix show, “Orange is the New Black.” Haley and Kaylee met in 2013 while in college at Belmont University in Nashville. They combined both their names with their iconic, harmonic sound to get their band name which is pronounced, “harm-uh-lees.” No, they are not a couple although both girls identify as lesbian. In 2015, the girls left Nashville and took off on tour for nine months with their pug Gus sleeping on the dashboard. They ditched their warm beds for a van with a mattress in the back, and their Nashville apartment for a Walmart parking spot. This trip, the band says, is what inspired their new EP Hiraeth, a Welsh word that means, “a longing for home.”

Credit Courtesy / Jesse Ray & The Carolina Catfish

May 2 | Jesse Ray & The Carolina Catfish | RESERVE SEATS NOW
Jesse Ray and the Carolina Catfish is a rock n’ roll band from Grand Rapids, Michigan founded in 2013. Brandon Hopp on drums and Jesse Ray on vocals, guitar and harmonica make up the duo that has rocked shows all over the state. After releasing their debut album Gravedigger the band took their sound out of Michigan touring as far as New Orleans. The album won the “Best Roots/Revival Album” award at the 2014 WYCE Jammie Awards. Then, in 2016 they won the same award for their next album Dead Man Walking. From practicing 6 hours a day, to taking baths with baby wipes in a Walmart parking lot, this duo is dedicated to their rockabilly dream.

Credit Courtesy / Sisters of your Sunshine Vapor

May 4 | Sisters of your Sunshine VaporRESERVE SEATS NOW
Sisters of Your Sunshine Vapor is a psychedelic rock group out of Detroit. The trio is composed of Sean Morrow on guitar and vocals, Eric Oppitz on base, and Rick Sawoscinski on drums who record in their home studio which they call Space Camp Studios.

Inspiration for their music comes from a variety of experiences. Some so intense, they weren’t sure if they would live to tell the tale. While the band had while flying home from their European tour their plane had to make an emergency landings. Oppitz described the landing when saying, “There was this strong uneasiness. We didn’t know if we were going to land safely or plummet into the ocean.” To keep calm, he kept his eyes on the sunrise.“It was beautiful and blissful,” he said. Scary as it may have been, the incident led to what many deem the band’s most sublime and hypnotic music yet. They got off the plane feeling weirdly transcended, and went to an isolated lodge in Northern Michigan to record their album titled Lavender Blood.