"I wanted there to be a way for people to express the way they felt about whats going on in the world," said Lucas Paine 06, who organized the concert and performed a set of songs.
The first performer at "Pause for Peace" was singer-songwriter David Melby 05, who sang several songs with guitar accompaniment, including "You Cant Count on the Weather," and the politically-tinged "No Demand." Melby has performed in several local venues and recently released a CD entitled "Looking Up."
Melby was followed by Mikkel Hong 04, who performed an energetic rap about greed and militarism that he wrote a half-hour before the concert.
Concert organizer Lucas Paines subsequent set of songs for guitar and voice included four original tunes as well as Neil Youngs "War of Man." Paines music focused on the search for hope in a time of disillusionment, as captured in the refrain of the new piece he tentatively titled "21st Century: What can I do?/All my heroes are gone." Also included in the set was a song called "Pause for Peace," which Paine wrote especially for the concert. At least three audience members raised and waved lighters in a show of appreciation for the set.
Scott Peterson 06 followed with a reading of an original poem titled "The Mosque," which graphically describes war from a civilian perspective. "The town is in ruins/I have lost half my family/What are they trying to prove?" he questioned. Later in the concert, Peterson read another of his poems, "Our Soldiers."
Following Peterson, Jon Hess 06 and Jon Lindsley 06 took to the stage with their guitars and performed several original songs. Their first number, "The Peace Song," scathingly questioned the price of war: "People are starving, they need rice/We pick up our guns and dont think twice/Just blow em to hell/Its for the good of the world."
Dan Marx 06 closed out the concert with a bilingual set of songs that reflect his interest in Latin American issues.
A display of artwork organized by Sarah Tan 06 and several peace-themed banners helped add to the atmosphere of "Pause for Peace," as did the stage backdrop, which read "All You Need is Love."
As the war in Iraq ensued overseas, the "Pause for Peace" concert gave the St. Olaf community a hint of it can expect from the sometimes-controversial campus peace movement in the future.
"Tonight we saw a different side of the peace movement," said audience member Carolyn Albert 06. "Instead of a group of people getting together against something, people got together to be for something."
Melby shared Alberts sentiments. "We dont all agree on how peace should happen," he said, "but we all agree that it must. Pause for Peace was yet another way for us to unite in this ongoing struggle."