Big hair, leg warmers and Atari — the 1980s gave us a lot of great things, but perhaps best of all was the music. Who can resist singing along with hits like “Jessie’s Girl,” “Living on a Prayer,” “We Built This City” and so many more. Even more so, who can resist dancing to these tunes? With music being such a huge part of the decade that gave us the Rubik’s Cube, we at CAWLM couldn’t very well host a party without music being a big part of it. So, to make sure guests have a tubular time, we’ve enlisted the help of popular local 80s cover band Starfarm to play the Mar. 19 event. The group, which includes Dana Mirate on drums and vocals, Dan Malnar on guitar and vocals, Ryan Tarrant on bass and lead vocals, Sean Mirate on keyboard and Whitney Spotts on lead vocals, was formed with a slightly different lineup in 2003. “We wanted to make a little extra income and have fun,” said Dana, who named the band. The group started out covering songs from the 1970s, 80s and 90s. While the 80s tunes were always a big hit for the crowd, it wasn’t until Dana picked up a few colorful track suits as a joke that Starfarm became the well-known group that they are today. From there says Dana, “Really, it just kind of evolved.” Spotts, who has been performing most of her life, joined the group two years ago after falling for them during one of their shows at the Irish Pub in Lansing. “They’re really strong musicians,” she said of her band mates. “I was impressed with the style and just the tunes themselves.” Today Starfarm plays a number of bars, pubs and private parties all around the state. Along with their track suits, Spotts said what keeps the crowd coming back is simple. “Energy. We really try to give a full-out show every time.” With a large repertoire of 80s hits, Starfarm says they are able to play to a crowd. “We really do base our set list on crowd reaction,” added Spotts. While each band member has a favorite 80s tune —“We are all so opinionated,” said Spotts — they all agree that any song that gets the crowd moving is a good song. And since Starfarm is made up of life-long musicians it isn’t hard for the group to get motivated before a show. “80s music is so upbeat. It’s danceable,” said Spotts. “I just really dig performing … there isn’t anything like a feeling of a great show.” Along with their steady weekend gigs, the band also does a number of charity driven events like the CAWLM 80s Flashback Party. “Anytime there’s an 80s event and we get chosen to do it, we’re happy about it,” said Dana. For more information on the band and upcoming shows, visit www.starfarmband.com
Emily Caswell is the Managing Editor of CAWLM. She has a passion for fun, family, friends, shopping sprees, cold drinks and Lansing.