Yam Haus and The Astronomers rock at homecoming concert


Contributed by: Jessica Norblom

Yam Haus performed for Winona State’s 2022 homecoming on Oct. 19, in the Kryzsko Ballroom. The Astronomers, a newer alternative pop duo from Wisconsin, opened for the band.

Erich Schweitzer, News Reporter

The doors opened at around 7:20 p.m. The crowd of eager students poured into the Kryzsko Ballroom, racing for a spot at the front of the stage that stands empty save for the instruments all bathed in a purple glow from the spotlights. Members of the Warrior Entertainment Network work to make sure everything is ready for showtime at 8 p.m.

On the night of Wednesday, Oct. 19, Winona State University hosted its homecoming concert in the Kryzsko Ballroom. Headlining the event was the band Yam Haus, joined by The Astronomers who served as the show’s opening act.

The smell of a smoke machine hung heavy in the air.

There is a stand near the entrance selling each band’s merchandise.

The Kryzsko Ballroom boasted a healthy number of attendees, both from campus and the community.

Lars Pruitt, lead vocalist, shredding the guitar. (Contributed by: Jessica Norblom)

When the show finally starts, the lights dim, and students begin to cheer. The music roars so loud it can be felt in your bones. It is the kind of sound that reverberates through your entire body, shaking you to your very core. The beat of the drums are as deafening as gunshots.

Students are taken by the music. They clap along to the beat and sing the lyrics back to the bands on stage. They dance and jump with their hands in the air.

The show has only just begun.

It was an important show for The Astronomers, as they said it was their first show in Minnesota. The Astronomers is a newer alternative pop duo from Wisconsin that is still finding their footing.

When The Astronomers asked the audience if they had been to their shows before, only five people raised their hands, to which the lead singer, Michael Stensland, said to his bandmate, “We got five Ben!”

The Astronomers did a good job opening the night and primming the audience for the next band. Yam Haus came onto stage in an explosion of energy, and the audience cheered louder.

At a point between songs in the show, the lead singer of Yam Haus, Lars Pruitt, told the audience, “I don’t like the music business, but you guys make it worth it.”

The show was organized by Winona State’s Warrior Entertainment Network.

Joe Grizzle, a fourth-year at Winona State majoring in recreational tourism, is currently the mainstage director for the Warrior Entertainment Network.

The Astronomers band members include Michael Stensland and Ben Baker. (Contributed by: Jessica Norblom)

Grizzle said that the purpose of the Warrior Entertainment Network is to “provide entertainment for people here on campus.”

When deciding what band to bring in, Grizzle stated that they thought Yam Haus would have more of a “connection with the audience” due to them being a local band out of Minneapolis.

Grizzle also stated that he believes “there’s been generally positive reviews” from students about Yam Haus.

When asked if Yam Haus will be performing at the university again, Grizzle said that it depends on how they are received.

For students interested in joining the Warrior Entertainment Network, they have weekly meetings on Thursday at 5 p.m. in the Kryzsko purple rooms.

The Astronomers announced they would be releasing their debut album on Nov. 1, 2022.