Just when you thought we were out of Musikfest content, it turns out that we have more photos for your viewing pleasure.
Dark clouds were again looming over Bethlehem when I got back into town from visiting my brand new niece and going to my friend’s engagement party. It was around 5 p.m., and I wanted to make sure I got to Musikfest before the rains inevitably hit.
Lo and behold, Mother Nature gave us a reprieve this time.
Dark clouds were moving into Bethlehem around the time that I was able to get ready to head down for the second Friday of Musikfest. My original plan was to walk straight down to the Red Stag Pub Liederplatz stage to catch the end of Dina Hall’s set, and work the North Side before heading over to The Ice House for Night 1 of the Lehigh Valley with Love Comedyplatz at 8:45.
Then, as I walked out the door, the skies opened up, thwarting my plans to walk down, camera in tow.
When you hear the sounds of Billy Bauer Band nearby, it’s hard not to stick around a while and enjoy the quartet’s bright brand of acoustic rock. That’s what I did on Thursday night — during a festival with so many stages running at any given time, I dedicated a full set to enjoying this Bethlehem-based band.
This year, LVU is seeing contributions from members of our music community who are out on the scene at Musikfest to catch the action. One of those people, WLVU Station Manager John Paul DeBard, caught up with Philadelphia indie rockers June Divided (who we saw at another festival earlier this year) and shared his thoughts on their set.
The passion was palpable last night as local favorites Slingshot Dakota graced Musikfest’s Plaza Tropical stage.
There’s something special about a weekend at Musikfest. Indeed, such a phenomenon only takes place twice a year, and creates quite a buzz of summertime love and happiness for all who encounter it.
After this weekend, you’ll have to wait 51 weeks to experience it again. So, there’s no time like the present – let’s not miss out on a good time!
Musikfest Five Point Preview: Friday, August 11
As we approach the official halfway point of Musikfest 2017, it appears that things have dried out. Of course, yesterday’s rains didn’t stop the action at the nation’s largest free outdoor music festival, but it’s always a nice thing to have sunny skies ahead.
It’s also nice to have a strong lineup to count on. Today’s action at Musikfest features just that.
Musikfest Five Point Preview: Tuesday, August 8
Overnight rainfall Friday into Saturday meant that temperatures cooled off from opening night, setting up for an absolutely perfect Saturday afternoon with a breeze and temperatures in the upper 70s. Now that, my friends, is great ‘Festing weather.
I didn’t get out until a bit later in the afternoon but, by 5:30, I found myself squarely in front of New York alt-Americana band Evening Darling, who I was looking forward to seeing after doing a little Q&A with them last week. They were as good as I expected, with folk sensibilities and heartfelt lyrics that shine through their music’s well-crafted pop rock exterior.
From there, I started down from Liederplatz toward Plaza Tropical, where I was looking forward to hearing the R&B-infused stylings of JuTaun. However, I encountered The Tillers, a bluegrass band from Cincinnati, on the way down. They looked like they were having a ball, so I stopped by for a few photos.
Then, it was on to JuTaun who, as expected, blew the roof off of Plaza Tropical. Their technical mastery, versatility, soul, and harmonies blend into a sound that is just as much Motown as it is alt-rock, and it earned this group of talented young men a well-deserved standing ovation.
Afterwards, it was back to the new Yuengling Lagerplatz, where an acoustic rendition of Good Charlotte’s “The Anthem” let me know that I was within earshot of Philly pop punks, Above the Mendoza, who were playing to a full tent who had gathered around to hear their stripped-down, but high-energy set.
It was at this point that I realized that our coverage so far was missing a very important, long-standing Musikfest tradition: polka. Fortunately, the Austrian Boys Band was over at Festplatz to the delight of ‘Festers young and old. What was particularly interesting was the band’s willingness to step outside of the box; briefly venturing away from traditional polka to break into genre-friendly covers of everything from Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme.
After that, I found myself in need of two things: food and a phone charge. So, I quickly marched to get myself a Mexican sundae cup and went over to the Wells Fargo charging station to give my phone enough juice. Once I was done, I ventured briefly off the official festival grounds to The Wooden Match, where Another Day Dawns was rocking the place as only they can. Frontman Dakota McGeehan seemed to love every minute of the performance, during which it seemed as though he shared a pulse with the venue’s high octane crowd.
Before heading home to edit photos and prepare for Sunday — and by that, I mean “succumb to sleep before I could do any of that,” I stopped by Plaza Tropical once more for a glimpse of world-renowned Bulgarian violinist, Svet. Svet played electric violin interpretations alongside popular music hits of today and yesterday, mixed in with a message of positivity (while I was there, he dedicated a rendition of “I Will Survive” to the cancer survivors in the audience which, on a personal note, won me over).
Now, it’s on to Day 3. As always, keep an eye on LVU, because there is much, much more in store from Musikfest!
After getting out of the day job right around 5 p.m., and after checking in at SteelStacks and picking up our photo passes for the next 10 days, I darted up and over the Minsi Trail Bridge, parked at home, and hoofed it down to Musikfest with the goal of getting there in time for the festival’s opening ceremonies at 6 p.m.