by Chris Wilson
Concordia’s Christmas Spectacularathon, presenting music from the Starters, Push to Exit, and Joel Marquardt and Jon Bartels, will take place 3 p.m Sunday, Dec. 13 in Weller Auditorium. This special Christmas concert is intended to provide students with relief from the stress of the last few weeks of fall semester.
The Starters, made up of juniors Paul Nelson on bass and vocals, Joe Pierson on guitar and vocals and Josh Wudtke on drums, have been giving concerts on campus since last year. For the Christmas special, they will be performing both classic Christmas songs as well as the original material of “12 Days of Concordia Christmas.”
Although the Starters do not have any particular genre of music that they play, each of them bring in a unique influence to the trio’s sound. Pierson said he brings in the country and blues, Nelson brings in punk and pop styles and Wudtke contributes the hard rock sound.
“We’re really excited since we are all in the same praise band this year in addition to the Starters, so we are able to play with one another, which is really great for cohesion in our group,” Pierson said. “Being comfortable with your bandmates is really great within a small band.”
The band members said the inspiration for their name came from their first breakthrough song, the theme song for Pokémon.
“We wanted a name that wasn’t really cheesy or connected to an inside joke,” Nelson said.
In addition to drumming for the Starters, Wudtke also works as a manager for Push to Exit and helps set them up with gigs.
Push to Exit is a five-member pop and rock band made up of Concordia freshmen. Their members include Evan Brenne, Dalton Merka, Aidan Moon, Josiah Rensner and David Schrampfer. Push to Exit started out in the basement of Schuelke Hall earlier this year as a few jam sessions.
“We have done a few gigs throughout the beginning of the year,” Moon said. “But this show is definitely going to be the biggest.”
Bartels and Marquardt make up the third group performing in the Christmas special. Both have over three years of experience playing in praise bands and jam sessions together.