The crowd packed the main floor as Johnathan Van Risseghem, an alternative singer and guitarist from Tulsa, Okla., took the stage at the Granada Theater Thursday night. The crowd was cheering and clapping from the beginning of the set until the end.
“I couldn’t think of a better place to be spending my 23rd birthday than here in Emporia,” Risseghem said.
Risseghem played his guitar to open for Stars Go Dim, also from Tulsa, to a crowd of more than 600 people. Risseghem said he hopes to continue his music career for the remainder his life and feels it is his calling, according to an interview with musiczeitgeist.com.
“I’ll be a musician all my life – I don’t think there’s any stopping that,” Risseghem said during the interview.
The Granada was a source of much enjoyment for the artist, calling it one of the “coolest venues” he had ever seen and that he “had a blast” playing for Emporia.
As the lights dimmed after Risseghem’s performance, shouts of “Stars Go Dim” filled the Granada. The band took the stage and the crowd began to sway.
Their set list included the single “Like I Mean It” off of their upcoming, unnamed album and “Crazy” from their first album. Band members said they were impressed by the Granada’s look.
“This place is amazing, I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Chris Cleveland, the lead singer and pianist for Stars Go Dim.
Jessica Buchholz, executive director of the Granada, said she was excited about the turn out for the concert and she hopes that the Granada can help support a local music scene.
The event was sponsored by local businesses and KISS 103.1.
“We’re looking to do a couple big concerts like this a year and we’re really hoping to get local live music started up in Emporia,” Buchholz said.
She said she was also excited to see a variety of different ages at the concert and for a new group of people to be exposed to the Granada for the first time.
“I think Emporia is really lacking a live music scene (but) I think this really helps with that,” said Luke Chiddix, junior political science major.
Chiddix said he enjoyed the show and was glad that Emporia could bring in some out-of-state bands and that the town could really benefit from more events like this.’