Snowjam 2007: Building 429 to headline Christian music event in Heron Lake

HERON LAKE -- When Jeff Frodermann began booking acts for Snowjam 2007, the annual Christian music event sponsored by The Narrow Path (TNP) ministry, he planned on a lineup similar to years past, featuring mostly area, independent groups.

HERON LAKE -- When Jeff Frodermann began booking acts for Snowjam 2007, the annual Christian music event sponsored by The Narrow Path (TNP) ministry, he planned on a lineup similar to years past, featuring mostly area, independent groups.

But, through some networking, Jeff managed to attract a couple of well-known Christian rock groups to perform March 3 at the Heron Lake Community Center.

"I started with a local band and contacted Daniel Lund, who's originally from Fulda and moved to Memphis to pursue a music career," explained Frodermann, who began TNP almost five years ago. "I've been friends with him, so he was the first guy I booked. Then I thought about a band that would complement him well, Mainstay -- these guys are originally from Mountain Lake -- and since they're in the Twin Cities, it's easier to get them, and they had an open date for March 3, so I booked them.

"I knew I could use one more artist, so I started looking at bands that might be in the area. Building 429 was going to be at the Target Center. I thought it would be a long shot, but I contacted their booking agency. They usually get $7,000, which is way out of our budget, but they were willing to come down (in price) for us to $1,800. We did some fund-raising and set the ticket price accordingly. So Building 429 is going to be at the Target Center one night, playing in front of a crowd of thousands, and in Heron Lake the next night, playing for 400 people."

Before taking the "leap" into an event featuring the bigger-name bands, Frodermann discussed the possibility with a number of people.


"I talked to former alumni from our youth ministry, some leaders and other people in youth ministry, and sometimes it's a better a strategy to have a more well-known band, not because of the bigger hype effect or because they have more pizzazz, but if you draw more people in, more people hear the gospel," he explained.

"These bands are both on the level of the band Skillet, which played in Worthington a few weeks ago and can be heard regularly on Refuge radio 100.3 FM in town. We're expecting a crowd of 400 or more, which will be historic for Heron Lake," Frodermann detailed.

Headliner Building 429 is definitely an up-and-coming force on the Christian music scene, according to the band's Web site: . Current members of the group are Jason Roy (vocals/guitar), Michael Anderson (drums) and Jesse Garcia (guitar/keyboards).

"Debuting in 2004 with 'Glory Defined,' a song that hit No. 1 on eight different charts and became BMI's 2005 Song of the Year for Christian music, Building 429 received four Dove Award nominations and was named the Gospel Music Association's 2005 New Artist of the Year," explains the group's biography.

The band's most recent album is "Rise." Band members say the album represents a natural progression of the meaning of Building 429, which was taken from Ephesians 4:29: Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

"It's not enough to not say something bad," explains Roy in the band's biography. "It's about going out of your way to lift people up when everything else is beating them down. It's about rising to that occasion. We want young people to know that yeah, life is tough, but God is there; He loves you and He has a plan."

Joining Building 429 will be Mainstay, a group that has its roots in southwest Minnesota. Mainstay has one album, "Well Meaning Fiction."

"We write and perform out of the burden we have for spelling out the Gospel message," explained singer Justin Anderson. "I feel like the majority of this record comes from the New Testament, which besides covering the Gospels also traces Paul talking to believers on how they should act and live. We don't see a lot of that in America today. We see a lot of selling out and dumbing down. The key themes are sin and repentance, but also to write a record that's a wake-up call to Christians and get them to know that Christianity is not based on feelings, but rather on biblical truth.


"Our mission is to first of all write songs that would be pop gems with a great hook and a great line that will stick with you," Anderson continued. "Lyrically, we want to write lyrics that challenge believers and unbelievers alike that will hopefully encourage them all to look for truth. Absolutes are everywhere, and hopefully our music will allow everyone to think beyond themselves and get in touch with a higher purpose."

Rounding out the evening's agenda will be Lund and speaker David Olson.

"David Olson runs a college outreach ministry at St. Olaf College in Northfield," Frodermann explained. "He's also a youth pastor in town there. He was the first Christian mentor that I had personally. He really took me under his wing when I was at St. Olaf. He's a very down-to-earth speaker, and he seems to communicate the gospel very clearly and relates to all ages.

The doors for Snowjam 2007 will open at 6 p.m. March 3 at the Heron Lake Community Center, and the show starts at 7 p.m. Tickets are available at Heartsong Christian Bookstore in downtown Worthington or by contacting Frodermann, (507) 360-5465.

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