Leftmore: indie music in the evening air

Grace Onsrud, Staff Writer

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Denver-based singer-songwriter Leftmore gave a concert on Friday, Sept. 8. Leftmore connected with Luther students through his music and sense of humor during his concert in Bentdahl Commons.

Joe Ziegler, whose stage name is Leftmore, seemed comfortable in Bentdahl Commons’ intimate setting that he perfromed barefoot. He interacted with the small audience of about 35 on a personal level during the performance. Between songs, his banter with the audience and the stories he told about his life provided moments of humor.

Ziegler said he enjoys a genuine connection to his audience, citing it as one of the main goals in his music career. For this reason he enjoys small audiences like the one at Bentdahl Commons on Friday.

“There’s an intimacy which allows me to connect beyond the music and the performance aspect,” Ziegler said. “I enjoy when there is no fourth wall.”

Student Activities Council (SAC) Entertainment, formerly known as SAC Spotlight) Co-Chair Alex Shaw (‘19) explained how the leaders of SAC Entertainment want to bring performers who connect with their audience. Shaw saw Ziegler perform at another event in Decorah last year and immediately wanted to bring him to Luther’s campus.

“I hope that people who were at that house show [last year] and remember him and the people that saw him on Friday mesh together,” Shaw said.

Both Shaw and Ziegler detailed their aspirations for encouraging more independent musical collaboration within the student body at Luther. They also stated they hope bringing music to more people would inspire more musicians to take up the craft.

Though this event was Ziegler’s first time playing at Luther, he played several off-campus performances during his previous visits to Decorah, so some students recognize his music. Ziegler first visited Decorah after James Stortz (‘17). who was already aware of the musician from a previous show he had done, invited him to perform at a local venue.

“As soon as I got here, I felt like I met a lot of artistically engaged folks and had a lot of really open conversations about life and what we are all learning,” Ziegler said. “I’ve enjoyed coming back ever since because I feel like the student body here is on the pulse of what’s important and what’s special.”

Ziegler expressed enthusiasm about performing at an on-campus event and how that could expand his audience.

“I see it as an opportunity to impress upon the college as well as its students that I want to be here,” Ziegler said. “I book my tours to come through Decorah because I’ve found that people here like my music.”

Because he enjoys the atmosphere, Ziegler said he will likely return to Decorah on future tours. In the meantime, Ziegler encourages people to reach out to him with questions about his music, tours, or anything else they may want to ask.

SAC Entertainment wants to have more outdoor concerts in an effort to increase the usage of Bentdahl Commons and the appreciation of Luther’s campus, according to Shaw. This has gained positive responses from some Luther students, such as audience member Colin Cosgrove (‘20).

“A beautiful campus accompanies beautiful music,” Cosgrove said.

The concert was the second concert that SAC Entertainment has brought to Bentdahl Commons this semester. Luther College was one of several performance venues for Leftmore on a tour that includes stops in South Dakota and Nebraska before he returns to Denver.

The next show that SAC Entertainment will bring to campus is magician Peter Boie. This event will take place in Marty’s and begin at 7:30 on October 27.

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