I got into the car immediately after work in Bethlehem on Thursday and made a beeline to Lititz, about 15 minutes north of downtown Lancaster, which is playing host to the Ninth Annual Launch Music Conference and Festival. My timing could not have been better.
After a quick pit stop, we went downtown to the city’s center square, where familiar faces Alex Mery & The Townsmen had just begun their set. It was great to kick off our 2017 Launch experience with friends from the Lehigh Valley, as the rising folk-punk trio made its festival debut, performing tunes from its upcoming EP, “Folklore.”
After chatting with our pals for a few minutes, I decided that between sets was a good time to head into the Marriott Hotel and Convention Center across the street to pick up my festival badge. While there, I noticed some aggressive music coming from the conference room. I wandered in to hear, see, and experience sets by Swedish easycore band Abandoned by Bears and pop punk juggernauts Carousel Kings.
As the night went on, I found myself craving some easier, more mellow listening. Fortunately, the festival’s Marion Court stage had just what the doctor ordered in the form of Lehigh Valley singer-songwriter Neil Grover.
Neil did a tremendous job presenting originals like “Under My Body,” “Say I Know,” and “Whoa,” and even threw in a cover of N Sync’s “I Want You Back” for good measure. In the process, he got the attention of those at Marion Court, who gathered around to turn the venue’s outdoor deck into a listening room.
Now, it’s time for Day 2. I’m heading out for some conference panels, but I’ll be checking in on Facebook throughout the day and into the night. Stay tuned for updates!