Rain takes stage at Luthapalooza

Photo by Anna Wright
Photo by Anna Wright

With the bands and t-shirts planned out for weeks, the stage set the night before and a good forecast, Luthapalooza XII was a go.

Started in 2001 by Bethany alumnus and son of Chaplain Don Moldstad, Jacob Moldstad, Luthapalooza has become a staple event towards the end of the school year. With a number of bands, activities and food, Luthapalooza has become the perfect event to just relax before finals.

“It is always fun to see what student groups get organized for Luthapalooza. As a teacher, it is great to see them in another setting besides the classroom,” said said performer at Luthapalooza, Chaplain Moldstad.

As with all events, this one takes a lot of planning. This was the twelfth year of Luthapalooza, and the Bethany Activities Committee looked to add things this year.

“We brought back some of the bands that were involved in Lutha last year as well as adding a few acts – Midlife Crisis, Justin Heib from MLC [Martin Luther College] and hopefully the Pledge Empire (an alumni group),” said BAC coordinator Renee Tatge.

Another thing that is switched from year to year is the logo for the festival used for flyers, as well as the shirts. This year’s design, thought up by Jonathan Bartels, combined the event’s name with one of the events staple’s – a guitar.

“We were talking about Luthapalooza during our BAC meeting and logo designs for t-shirts came up. I just started doodling for a design while we talked and eventually got the idea to create the type into a guitar shape,” said Bartels.

One of the bands featured yet again this year was Midlife Crisis, which has strong Bethany connections as it is composed of Professor William Bukowski, Professor Adrian Lo, Chaplain Moldstad, Vice President of Student Affairs Steve Jaeger and Professor Andy Overn.

“Midlife Crisis started when I turned 50 years old. I thought of it as a kind of performance art.  I had done an art show at Bethany called 50 at 50 and wanted to follow that up with an invented rock band. I figured that maybe we could inspire the kids with some old style rock and roll. Our first performance was in the Lab. The following year some of the students asked us to perform at Lutha and the rest is history,” said Bukowski.

“It was very scary to play along side the students but the audience was very sympathetic and Adrian unleashed some amazing sounds from his violin. To play on stage with some reasonably good musicians is very exhilarating and totally fun…especially The Beatles songs.  The first time we performed “I Want To Hold Your Hand” I think some of the students recreated Beatlemania for us by screaming.  It was awesome.  We have played in the Viking Village, the Lab, the Chapel, the Ylvisaker Fine Arts Center stage, at Lutha in the gym and outside and I guess now in the rain.  I don’t think most faculty members even know we exist and many of our early fans have long since graduated…but we try to keep on rockin’,” said Bukowski.

With the Midlife Crisis and the other bands, Luthapalooza was once again a hit, even if it rained towards the end. The Bethany Activities Committee hopes to bring back some of the same bands for next year, as well as add some new ones.


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