Across the Sky hits Steamboat |

Across the Sky hits Steamboat

Susan Cunningham

Ben Kolarcik and Justin Unger, both 22, look like typical rock stars. Both are fit and funny, with straight hair styled messily. They call their music pop rock, and their upbeat but melodic songs fit nicely into that category.

It’s their message that sets them apart.

Kolarcik and Unger, Christians since they were young boys, want to share their passion for God through their passion for music.

“I think we’re sharing a positive, fun message that anyone could grab onto and say, ‘Hey, what do they have that I don’t?'” Unger said.

The duo will share that message, and their tightly harmonized and very energized songs, tonight in a free concert at Steamboat Springs High School. The concert is sponsored by Euzoa Bible Church.

The name of their 2-year-old band, Across the Sky, points to the book of Matthew in the Bible. In chapter 24, a description of Jesus’ return has him gathering his angels from one edge of the sky to another, Kolarcik said.

That return challenges Christian believers and nonbelievers, he said.

“That’s not our message — we’re really just the messengers,” Kolarcik said.

The duo met two years ago through the record label now known as Word, which is the Christian division of Warner Brothers Records.

Kolarcik had been working on a solo career for several years, writing and recording his songs and touring around the world.

Unger dabbled in music during high school, co-writing songs with his grandfather, who was also his pastor, and then winning the spotlight competition at the Seminar in the Rockies in Estes Park.

When they were brought together through the record label, the two men became friends and found they worked well together producing music.

Their voices immediately harmonized in ways that typically takes years to develop.

“It wasn’t really a forced relationship,” Unger said. “We just said, ‘Hey, we’re cool.'”

Being a duo gives them a sound that’s fresh, and though it wasn’t necessarily in their individual plans, it obviously was in God’s plans, they said.

“Every song that we write, you see the Lord’s hand in it,” Kolarcik said. “I think the Lord has given us some incredible gifts, really.”

The band has produced one self-titled album, released July 8, 2003, with plans for another on the way. Their single “Found by You” was released to radio June 13, and “Broken World” will be released to radio Friday. At the end of February, they’re starting a 35-city tour with Christian groups Avalon and Mark Schultz. They’ve been nominated for a “New Artist of the Year” Dove Award, a premier Christian music award.

Unger just got married in December, and Kolarcik just became engaged.

The pair is busy but energized by the turns their lives have taken.

Still, their focus is sharing their faith, not being famous, they said.

“It’s not our pursuit, so we’re really not worried about it,” Kolarcik said.

Across the Sky will perform at 7 p.m. tonight at the Steamboat Springs High School Auditorium. The show is free.

— To reach Susan Bacon, call 871-4203

or e-mail

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