Ghosts of Jupiter: Music Experience at the Museum of Science

The Summer Scene
by Cara Giaimo

at the Museum of Science, Boston


Picture this –
it’s the end of one of those hazy Boston summer days, when the Common is humming and the Prudential’s fountains are full of kids. You and your friends have lucked your way into an idyllic afternoon – pickup basketball, farmer’s market picnic, some good-natured swan boat heckling – and as the sun inches down, you’re all trying to think of the perfect way to cap it off. Luckily, you’ve read this article, so you gently lead everyone over to the Charles Hayden Planetarium for the brand new Ghosts of Jupiter: Music Experience. It’s billed as “a rock-and-roll journey through space and time,” and even that only begins to cover it. Part light show, part rock show, part freak show, and altogether showy, it’s sure to hit everyone’s sweet spot. The newly renovated Charles Hayden Planetarium is the most technologically advanced digital theater in New England. Powered by superior full-dome video and audio systems and a new state-of-the-art star projector this is the place to go to see big-time displays.

If you aren’t familiar with rock-and-roll planetarium shows, the concept is disarmingly simple – pretend that God took a crazy pill, put on a rock album, and invited you to sit on his brain and watch trippy cosmic thoughts roll around the inside of his skull. Laser light shows based on Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin albums are popular all around the country, but this new Ghosts of Jupiter show uses raw Boston talent and resources to blow them out of the water. First of all, the venue is unbeatable - the newly updated planetarium boasts hemisphereical high-res video (“the same technology Pixar uses,” explained planetarium director David Rabkin), a state of the art audio system, and a 57-foot dome screen. Homegrown animators have ditched the lasers and instead conjured up evocative landscapes and situations. Most importantly, local favorites (and Rock’N’Roll Rumble semifinalists) Ghosts of Jupiter have made the kind of album that lends itself perfectly to a light show, full of shifting rhythms, riffs you want to follow to the end of the universe, and enough fun bombast to pop the top off of anything that tries to contain it, even a huge dome.

Music Experience courtesy of Boston's GHOSTS OF JUPITER

All these elements combined make for an incredibly dynamic hour. The opening number, in which jewel-toned cubes built themselves into cities to the tune of “Thieves,” pushed me deep into thought about the strange soul connection between jam bands and geometry. By “Paper Roses,” a gritty ballad, I had calmed down and could mellowly enjoy what looked like a synchronized swimming performance by a bunch of neon green spaghetti. “Play it Blind” had me on the edge of my seat again, this time hoping that the exuberant fish-bees that were leading me through a futuristic coral reef would not be devoured by a nearby tribe of inky Easter Island heads. If this sounds ridiculous, you obviously haven’t been to a rock and roll light show extravaganza, and you need to fix that right away. So head over, and bring your friends – you’ll come out looking at your city, and your own senses, entirely differently.

Ghosts of Jupiter: Music Experience premieres this weekend at the Museum of Science’s Charles Hayden Planetarium. This experience aside, the Planetarium is Tickets are $10 (less for children and seniors) and totally worth it. For tickets and showtimes, call (617) 723-2500 or go to

more about the music:
Ghosts of Jupiter
facebook / twitter / bandcamp


Anonymous said…
This show was killer! The visuals were absolutely mind-blowing, I felt like I was flying through space!!
Anonymous said…
The show is totally worth the hype, and then some.
Who doesn't like lights and sounds?
Anonymous said…
Thanks to Geoff Nielsen (sound engineer extraordinaire), GOJ, and the Hayden for blowing my mind like it hasn't been blown since the Sixties! Peace.

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