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The Rares will perform in Kasson on Friday evening. From left, Isaac Gullickson, Zakh Peterson, Jay Defrang and Berin Joseph.

KASSON — The Minnesota Wifi Performing Arts Center in Kasson will host its first rock concert Friday evening.

Local rock quartet The Rares will play a mix of classic ’60s “Merseybeat” rock ‘n’ roll tunes, along with their own material.

When the school superintendent asked a few months back if the Rares could fill 800 seats, drummer Zakh Peterson simply said, “Challenge accepted.”

Peterson, who went to Kasson-Mantorville himself, said that when he was in school, arts and music were never a focal point. Now, this return to town will not only bring rock to the stage but also help continue bringing music into the community.

“It’s easy to forget the influence music can have on a young person’s life and learning,” he said. “I want the Performing Arts Center to be a major stepping stone to help show that. I hope the community embraces that, rather than pushes it away.”

So, what can inaugural rock concert-goers expect?

The four-piece band will play a night full of classic ’60s rock, a sound they say all ages can enjoy. They will also showcase their own tracks.

But the night isn’t just about them on stage; the concert is also a fundraiser for the Kasson-Mantorville band program.

“I was always told that whenever you’re doing something grand, you should think about how you can give back to others,” Peterson said. “I wanted to show that I was grateful that they taught me not only how to be a better musician, but also a better human. We want to make this a better thing for the future.”

Katie Schroden, with Kasson-Mantorville Community Education, said the concert as a whole is doing just that.

Part of the Kasson-Mantorville high school renovation, she said the Minnesota WiFi building has hosted theater productions, musicals and movie showings.

Friday’s show demonstrates that the building can offer more, and Schroden is excited to share the night with the community.

“We’re trying to increase the flexibility of the space, bringing in the community and showing everyone how great it really is,” she said. “It will start with The Rares and just keep on going.”

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