MSA picks The Hold Steady for ‘Lend a Hand’ concert

It’s full speed ahead for the Minnesota Student Association’s “Lend a Hand, Hear the Band” concert, where students are rewarded with a concert for performing community service hours.

MSA finalized its contract with The Hold Steady for the April 10 concert in Northrop Auditorium.

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MSA Vice President Ross Skattum and MSA at-large representative John Sharkey, a Daily employee, are excited because they’re “big fans,” Skattum said.

When MSA first started thinking about what bands they wanted for the concert, The Hold Steady was on top of the list, Skattum said.

“We wanted an act that was a little bigger than Guster,” he said.

The Hold Steady originally called Minneapolis home, which is one of the reasons that MSA wanted them, Sharkey said.

“Prince was probably a little bit out of our league,” he said.

Accounting junior Nick Wallin said he can still see the benefit in a program like this, even though he hasn’t heard of The Hold Steady.

“You get to give back to the community and get something out of it,” he said.

The former Minnesotans will give the concert a hometown feel, Skattum said.

“We really like how they have local roots here in Minneapolis,” he said. “This concert is all about the community coming together.”

Not many students have entered hours yet, but MSA representatives hope the announcement of the band will prompt more student interest, Sharkey said.

MSA’s goal is to get 45,000 hours of volunteering logged, and hopefully fill Northrop’s 4,800 capacity, Skattum said.

MSA is putting a cap at four tickets per person for the concert; 40 hours of community service done anytime from last September until April will equal four tickets.

To ensure that the hours recorded are legitimate, an additional contact must be provided to confirm the volunteer hours, Skattum said.

At the end of the volunteer period, MSA will contact each individual to verify the hours.

But in addition to getting student participation, MSA still has to advertise and raise more money, Skattum said.

“The relief will come if we get more than one person to come,” he said.

The University Foundation is lessening the burden by rewarding MSA with a $10,000 donation toward the concert.

Martha Douglas, director of communications for the foundation, said MSA’s program fits closely with the foundation’s mission.

Each year, the foundation gives a monetary gift to a student activity on a case-by-case basis, Douglas said.

MSA hopes students will see this concert as a reward for the work they put in, Skattum said.

“There’s really a lot of good teamwork and a lot of hard work going into this concert,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it paying off for everyone.”